Women’s prison annual budget $4.39 millionNEW ENGLAND, N.D. — The Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center, a 126-bed prison established in 2003, operates on an annual budget of about $4.39 million, officials say.
By: Ashley Martin, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Editor’s note: This is the third story in a four-part series on the Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center.
NEW ENGLAND, N.D. — The Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center, a 126-bed prison established in 2003, operates on an annual budget of about $4.39 million, officials say.
Revenue comes from the North Dakota Department of Corrections, said Connie Monson, financial administrator.
Unlike Dickinson’s Southwest Multi-County Correction Center, a 118-bed facility that’s 2012 budget is $2.68 million and charges roughly $70 a day per inmate, DWCRC does not charge a daily fee, she said.
“In New England, we are paid a fixed, monthly amount, no matter how many inmates are in the facility,” Monson said.
However, DWCRC Operations Administrator Rachelle Brewer said there were 124 inmates at the facility as of Tuesday. Using its annual budget, it would cost roughly $97 per day to house those inmates.
Nursing staff must be at the women’s prison around the clock, she added.
“We provide a full range of educational opportunities for them,” Monson said. “We have treatment services that we provide to them. We transport them so they have access to dental, vision, any offsite medical services that we cannot provide to them. All of these costs are part of the annual budget.”
Southwest Multi-County Correction Center does not offer many of these services. New England and Dickinson have “two very different facilities,” Monson said.
About $230,000 is spent annually for food at the New England facility, she said.
All meals are approved by a dietician and don’t include any “specialty foods,” Brewer said.
There were 62 employees at the women’s prison in March, Monson said. Their pay ranges from $14 an hour to $5,667 a month. An operations administrator earns $68,000 a year.
The Missouri River Correctional Center, a 151-bed facility located south of Bismarck, employs about 40 people. Their salary ranges from $2,185 to $6,828 a month, said Tim Tausand, public information officer for the North Dakota Department of Corrections.
Colby Braun, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations warden of transitional facilities, said the only comparable part of the two facilities is the number of beds.
“No matter where you go, it’s all going to be very different,” he added.
DWCRC used to be St. Mary’s School, said Caroline Robinson, office manager at St. Mary’s Parish.
“It was a boarding school most of the years,” she said. “Even the elementary kids were boarded. They came on Monday and stayed until Friday and then the nuns took care of the dorms.”
Ground was broken for the school in 1949 with classes held by September of the same year. The class of 1951 was the first to graduate and Robinson graduated in 1959.
The school closed in 1997, she added.
“I think they closed because the town was getting smaller and there were fewer and fewer boarders,” she said. “The boarders were a pretty large part of the school when I was going here. They became fewer and fewer and they brought in some foreign students, but it just wasn’t enough to keep it open.”
St. Mary’s Church is still attached to what is now the prison and part of the old school is still used by the church.
A $1.28 million construction project at DWCRC was completed last summer, Brewer said.
Ashley Martin is a reporter
at the Dickinson Press,
which is owned by Forum Communications Co.