WALKER -- Cass County Sheriff Randy Fisher reported Tuesday to the Cass County Board he expects the number of inmates assigned to the county will increase under new state legislation, but has not determined estimated numbers yet.
Until now, when the court executes sentences for people convicted of felonies, those people have served their sentences in a state prison and under state corrections department supervised release.
Now, all felony prisoners will complete the last six months of incarceration in county jails.
Before Aug. 1, 1993, felons were sentenced to a set term in prison. After that date, they were sentenced to a set term, with two-thirds of the time to be served in a state prison and one-third on supervised release.
State inmates are placed under the commissioner of corrections and given credit for good time and any prior jail time served before their sentencing.
The new state law will shift all state felony inmates back to county jails for the last six months of their imprisonment. Prior jail time credit will be determined at the time of sentencing.
Because people can spend up to a year awaiting trial before their guilt is determined, many felons already have accrued extensive jail credit before they are sent to a state facility under sentence. For those sentenced to only a year and a day (the minimum felony sentence), this change will mean many felons likely will spend no time in a state prison in the future.
The new law takes effect July 1.
Fisher reported to the board Tuesday he hired Garr Pemberton to fill a county deputy vacancy created when a deputy was assigned to the East Gull Lake city patrol position.
The board authorized Fisher to fill two additional vacancies created when one deputy resigned to accept a position with Crow Wing County and the Cass Lake School liaison officer was called to active military duty.
Fisher told the board he will complete training for the three deputies before considering hiring two additional deputies the board authorized for hire after July 1.
The county failed to receive funding under the federal COPS grant program in this round of funding, Fisher said, but the county application will remain active for possible future funding.
Wok-er Chow Mein of Walker donated $286 to the sheriff's department toward buoys for Leech Lake.
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