Tag Archives: prison

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

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

Print Column: It’s the Department of Corrections, Not the Department of Commerce

MINOT, N.D. — Recently I wrote a post on my blogcommenting on the emerging debate surrounding Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed transition of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center out of New England and to the Missouri River Correctional Center in Bismarck. The men currently at the latter facility would be transitioned to the existing state

Judge Frank Racek: Offender Rehabilitation Needs to Be More Focused and More Flexible to Work

Recently, the North Dakota legislature passed bills referred to as “Justice Reinvestment.” These measures were designed to decrease the number of convicted individuals sent to prison. Incarceration and its negative effects are costly and detrimental to society. Many of the offenders who are currently locked up are not best served by the prison system. For

‘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.

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.

Lawmakers Should Make Room in the Budget for Defense Attorney Raises

With lawmakers heading into a special session next month to cut budgets for the rest of this biennium, and with the regular session starting in January likely to see even further cuts for the next biennium, there isn’t going to be an appetite for increasing spending anywhere in the budget. But one place lawmakers should make

Despite Overcrowded Jails, North Dakota Judges Have Deviated From Mandatory Minimum Sentences Just Once in Last Year

Prison overcrowding is a big issue in North Dakota. “Overcrowded jails are having to find space in other counties and neighboring states for their own inmates,” WDAY reported back in January. That report found that more jail capacity is coming online – 10 counties are set to complete jail construction projects that will increase the

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