ST. PAUL – Following a meeting organized by State Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Wabasha), the Minnesota Department of Corrections has agreed to allow Wabasha County to use its recently-closed jail as a temporary holding facility when court is in session.
Wabasha County’s prisoners are currently being housed at the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center.
“I’m pleased the Department of Corrections and Wabasha County were able to reach a compromise,” Drazkowski said. “Because of this, the county will save thousands of dollars in transportation and staffing costs.”
On September 25, Drazkowski arranged a meeting in Red Wing between the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, as well as the Wabasha County Board, Sheriff, and jail staff in order to reach an agreement on how to deal with inmate court appearances.
As part of the proposal, groups of inmates can be temporarily held in the booking area of the old Wabasha County jail as they wait to see a judge. Drazkowski said that without the agreement, the Sheriff’s Office would have had to transport prisoners from Red Wing to Wabasha one by one in order for them to make their court appearances.
“With gas prices near record highs, making several daily trips to Red Wing and back would have created quite a travel expense,” Drazkowski said. “Now, several inmates can be transported and held until all of their hearings are finished, and that will save Wabasha County taxpayers a tremendous amount of money.”