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Red River Flood Impacts North Dakota Corrections

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 59 Issue: 6 Dated: October 1997 Pages: 102-105
S L Clayton
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes the effect of the Red River flood of April 1997 on Grand Forks, North Dakota, corrections.
The Red River flood in April 1997 caused millions of dollars worth of damage in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but the criminal justice system remained in operation. Until August 1997 all new arrestees were transported to Minot, about 10 miles north, and the only place with open beds. Several of the 78 evacuated inmates who had been sent to the State penitentiary remained there. Some of the minimum-security jail inmates who were on work release at the time of the flood have temporarily stopped their work release and volunteered to help with cleanup efforts. Most were involved in sandbagging during the days before the flood as well; for each day they worked, they earned one day of credit off their sentences. Grand Forks still has a way to go toward full recovery, but the town, and the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, has survived the worst disaster it has ever faced.