Tag Archives: leann bertsch

The North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck. Korrie Wenzel / Forum News Service

Are We Going to Have a Civil War in North Dakota’s Corrections System?

Are We Going to Have a Civil War in North Dakota’s Corrections System?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this Dickinson Press report about Department of Corrections employees griping about reforms implemented by Director Leann Bertsch seems like it’s missing something. Like perhaps an acknowledgement that at least some of this criticism could be motivated by Bertsch’s push (along with Governor Doug Burgum) to withdraw the

The Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in New England, N.D., pictured here April 17, 2012, houses more than 100 female convicted felons. Forum News Service file photo

Plain Talk: North Dakota Prison’s Head Says Conditions at Women’s Facility Are So Bad Inmate Had to Pull Her Own Tooth

On this episode of Plain Talk Leann Bertsch, head of the North Dakota Department of Corrections, joined me to talk about the progress toward moving female inmates out of a troubled facility in New England, North Dakota. Or, more accurately, lack of progress. This week the state House voted to study the issue instead of

Gov. Doug Burgum has proposed moving the inmates at the women’s prison in New England, N.D., to a facility near Bismarck. Chris Flynn / The Forum

House Lawmakers Seem More Concerned About Economic Development Than Fair Treatment for Female Prisoners

If we ever needed a measuring stick for just how thoroughly addled by parochialism state politics are, consider the state House punting this week on legislation to fix an offensive disparity in treatment between male and female prisoners in North Dakota’s corrections system. In his executive budget Governor Doug Burgum included funding to shuffle some

The Dakota Women's Correctional Rehabilitation Center, pictured above, is the only women's prison in the state. It's located in New England.

The Legislature Should Make the New England Women’s Prison Illegal

A political furor has erupted over a proposal from Governor Doug Burgum, backed by Department of Corrections head LeAnn Bertsch, to end the state’s contract with a prison facility in New England, North Dakota, and move those female inmates into a reshuffled state system. The Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center is a subsidiary of the

The Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in New England, N.D., pictured here April 17, 2012, houses more than 100 female convicted felons. Forum News Service file photo

Prisons Aren’t Jobs Programs

Governor Doug Burgum’s executive budget his ignited several debates over policy and spending across the state. Perhaps one of the most heated so far is the proposed relocation of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center, a prison facility for female inmates current located in New England, North Dakota. On one side of the debate is

A guard stands by as inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary walk between cell units in Bismarck. (MIKE McCLEARY, Bismarck Tribune)

‘Build More Jails’ Is Not a Sustainable Solution to the Drug Addiction Problem

There is a significant debate in North Dakota right now circling around prison overcrowding and how we treat drug abuse in the criminal justice system. Some including Leann Bertsch, director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections, want put more emphasis on addiction treatment instead of incarceration. Others, unfortunately, seem to like the status quo.

The Cass County Jail on Oct. 12, 2007, in Fargo, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

Legislative Discussion Over Sentencing Reform Gets Heated

There is a big gap between where LeAnn Bertsch and the state’s prosecutors are on sentencing reform for non-violent drug offenders. Bertsch, who is the director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections, wants to reduce penalties for drug crimes and get rid of mandatory minimum sentences. The prosecutors, meanwhile, are resistant to that change.

The Cass County Jail on Oct. 12, 2007, in Fargo, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

Prison Official: North Dakota Not at Risk of Losing Federal Funds Over “Sanctuary City” Actions

Last week it was reported that the Department of Justice would be notifying jurisdictions that they would be losing federal funds if they didn’t cooperate with federal authorities in identifying and apprehending illegal immigrants. “Today, the DOJ notified local and state law enforcement agencies across America that they will no longer be eligible for federal

wayne stenehjem

Is Wayne Stenehjem Willing To Take On The Whole Problem With Skyrocketing Incarceration Rates?

So far the NDGOP’s gubernatorial nomination race (which will likely pick North Dakota’s next governor given the near total abdication of relevance by the Democrats) has been long on ideological rhetoric and somewhat short on policy specifics. But Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem just brought up a very substantive issue on the campaign trail. Namely, prison

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