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ASK THE SHERIFF: Why has the county jail population gone up?

A significant part of the increase is due to increased drug and DUI enforcement.

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Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo, 2019

Question: I have read that the Hubbard County Jail is full. To what do you attribute the rising population?

Answer: It is true, we have set record numbers recently in our jail population.

We typically will have 30-40 inmates in jail on Hubbard County charges and then another 20-30 inmates that we are holding from other counties. The last few months have seen change in those numbers, with our own inmates ranging from 70 to 80, and we no longer have room to take inmates from other counties.

While more and more people are being held accountable in Hubbard County, I must say that there are a variety of reasons for this increase.

The increase in drug and DUI enforcement efforts and apprehensions have led to the main increase in numbers. People driving under the influence of meth and other illegal drugs are being apprehended and taken off the highways at very high rates.

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A lot of these drivers are repeat offenders and on probation, which leads to higher bail limits being set. If individuals cannot produce the required bail, they are held in jail until their next hearing.

Although high jail populations do come with higher costs, the public safety benefit far outweighs some additional costs.

Not everyone that has ever been arrested is a bad person. Some people made mistakes and have quickly learned their lesson. Unfortunately that’s not the case for everyone. There are some people in this county who simply shouldn’t be on our roadways or out on the streets.

Law-enforcement has held these people accountable, and we have a high jail population to show for it.

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