North Dakota Department of Corrections orders closure of Rolette County Jail

Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT
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UPDATE: A spokesperson for the North Dakota Department of Corrections said the department cannot comment at this time since the situation is under investigation. Your News Leader has also reached out to Gov. Burgum's office for reaction.

ORIGINAL STORY: The North Dakota Department of Corrections has ordered Rolette County Sheriff Nathan Gustafson to close the county jail.

In a statement released Friday, Gustafson said the primary reason for the order was for “failure to follow procedures.”

Gustafson said the order recognizes the death of an inmate on June 4, 2020.

Gustafson said the remaining inmates in the jail will be transferred to other jails in the state, though he would not elaborate on where or when.

Gustafson released the following statement to Your News Leader:

“Today, June 19, 2020 I was served with an order from the North Dakota Department of Corrections. The Order requires the closure of our jail as of June 22, 2020. The primary basis for the order was for failure to follow procedures. The order recognizes the death on June 4, 2020

“There is an overwhelming drug problem in our community. That problem is the chief cause of this tragedy. I am committed to re-training current staff and acquiring additional staff to assist with combating this problem.

This is a serious matter and I am taking this order to heart. There is room for improvement and I will be making every effort to make those improvements. I will be seeking Department of Corrections assistance in making the improvements. I am grateful for the support I have received so far from my staff and from other county officials.”

Gustafson said he has served as Rolette County Sheriff for a year and half.

Your News Leader is reaching out to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to learn more.

This is a developing story. We will have more information as it becomes available.