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More Q&As about the Hubbard County Jail

(Editor’s Note: Here are some more frequently asked questions and answers from Joe Henry, Interim Hubbard County jail administrator.)

As promised in my last post here are some more common questions asked about our jail. Also as promised I’ve populated the FAQ page with the questions from my previous post as well as those in this post. Enjoy!

Q. Can I drop mail, shampoo, stamps, etc., off at the jail for an inmate?

A. No. The only items allowed to be dropped off for an inmate are:

* Prescription medication

* Clothing for STS crew members or for inmates upon release

* Prescription eyewear

The jail will not accept anything else for inmates. Please also understand that you may not bring legal or other paperwork down to the jail for an inmate to sign. You must send these items through the U.S. postal service and the inmate will be required to purchase and envelope to send it back to you.

Q. Does the jail take 30 percent of any deposits made to an inmate’s account?

A. Yes and no. If the inmate doesn’t owe the jail any money from the current or past incarcerations, 100 percent of any funds deposited after booking will be credited to their account and they can do with it as they please. If, however, the inmate owes the jail money we will take the 30 percent and apply it toward their liens.

When an inmate is assessed a fee it is charged to their account. If the inmate has funds to apply to the fee, the system will automatically attempt to collect the entire amount, or whatever is available.

We strongly believe that offenders need to help pay the cost of their incarceration(s). Building and operating a jail is not a cheap prospect and we wouldn’t have to do either if everyone in our community always made good choices.

The reality is that there will always be those among us that choose to selfishly engage in criminal activity. It used to be that other than court fines, criminal offenders mostly avoided financial consequences associated with their stay in jail.

That changed in 2011 when the Hubbard County Commissioners approved the jail to start charging Pay To Stay fees and to seek reimbursement from offenders for any medical and dental expenses incurred by the jail on an inmate’s behalf.

Statutorily, we could take 100 percent of any funds deposited on an inmate’s account while they’re incarcerated in our facility. If we chose that course of action, however, we would likely not recover much of what is owed as very few people would want to put money on any inmates account if they knew it would all be applied to what the inmate owed.

We therefore decided that by taking 30 percent of deposits we would be able to recover some of the money owed the jail and at the same time encourage inmates to purchase items from the canteen system, phone cards etc. Remember from a previous post that commissions made from these sales funds our inmate programs.

Q. What happens to accounts that aren’t paid in full by the time the inmate is released?

A. Upon release, inmates are provided an invoice for the current balance due. The total balance is due within 30 days unless a payment plan is set up. If the invoice isn’t paid within 30 days we will submit it to collections up to and including recovery through the state of Minnesota’s Revenue Recapture program.

Q. What do you feed inmates?

A. Breakfast, lunch and dinner of course!

* Breakfast consists of cereal, milk, juice, fruit and a breakfast bar.

* Lunch is our “hot” meal and consists of a main entrée (tater-tot hotdish, Salisbury steak, chicken curry, etc.), fruit or vegetable, bread, biscuit or roll, juice and desert.

* Dinner consists of sandwiches, sides like jello, salad, chips, etc., juice and desert.

Our menu has to meet Minnesota Department of Corrections nutritional standards. These standards dictate quantity, nutritional content and daily caloric intake.

Q. What fees do you charge inmates?

A. Depending on the situation the following fees are assessed to inmates:

* $15 Booking Fee

* $1 Hygiene Fee

* $5 Vending Card deposit (returned when the inmate is booked out if the card is returned and undamaged)

* $0.25 photo copy/fax

* $10 Nurse visit/sick call

* $0.50 Over the counter medication per dose fee

* $5 Bottled Over the count medication fee

* $3 Jail hair clippers rental fee

* $5 Reading glasses deposit (returned when the inmate is booked out if the glasses are returned and undamaged)

* $15 Work release urine test fee

* $25 court ordered urine test fee with additional $15 for each substance tested

* $10 per day Pay To Stay fee (assessed upon sentencing)

* $20 per day Work Release fee

* $46 per day Out-Of-County boarding fee for offenders sentenced in another county that wish to serve in Hubbard.

Please note that under no circumstances are indigent inmates denied medical services or necessary hygiene items because of their inability to pay.

We do take 100 percent of any funds an inmate has with them at booking if the inmate owes money from previous stays or from the current incarceration.

Medical or dental bills recieved after the inmate is released will be added to the account and a new invoice will be mailed to the inmate.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections mandates that we provide at least one hot meal per day.