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Associated Press, Published February 15 2010

Bismarck, county study jail crowding

BISMARCK – Officials in Bismarck and Burleigh County are studying what to do about a growing need for jail space.

County and city commissioners have agreed to hire a consultant to study whether a regional jail is needed or if an expansion to the existing county jail would make more sense.

Commissioners from Morton County and Mandan might be asked to join in the study because they also lack jail space.

Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert says the county jail has an average inmate population of 129, and that could jump to 229 in 15 years because of a growing population. The jail’s capacity is 138.