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Counties weigh options for empty jail cells

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Many Minnesota's counties are weighing options on what to do with an abundance of jail space.

Declining crime rates and a jail-building boom have left many counties with a surplus of jail cells. Houston County is just months away from opening its new jail. But, county commissioners have talked about letting it sit empty to save money.

The Star Tribune reports ( ) more than 3,000 jail cells are empty on a given day in Minnesota. Houston County is one of 12 counties that are cooperating on solutions to ease the financial burden of operating a partially-empty jail.

Some of the ideas include sharing contracts for inmates, supplies and transportation costs.


Information from: Star Tribune,

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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