on 30 November 2022

Many of the fees had remained unchanged over the past few years, so the Pennington County Board raised some of its jail fees at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The largest increase will be for high risk offender boarding, which will increase from $75 per bed per day to $125 per bed per day. Inmate boarding fees for other counties will increase from $55 per bed per day to $65 per bed per day.

Many local counties are housing inmates here due to restrictions placed on them by the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Lake of the Woods County can only hold inmates for up to 72 hours, and Marshall County can only hold male inmates for up to 90 days.

Pennington County holds all female Marshall County inmates since the latter jail can only house female inmates for a short period of time. Pennington County also houses some inmates from Beltrami Clearwater and Kittson counties.

Beltrami County continues to grapple with plans to build a new jail. “It takes a while to build a jail as we know,” said Sheriff Ray Kuznia, who noted Pennington County built its new jail at the right time in terms of the cost. The county also built it a little larger to accommodate future needs. Drug offenses have made it worse for counties, said Kuznia, who noted more inmates are serving time at county jails instead of state prisons. He added this was especially true for first-time offenders who would have been sentenced to prison in the past. Housing out-of-county inmates enables the jail to offset some of its expenses.

Besides out-of-county inmate booking fees, the cost of ER visits and dental visits will also increase for inmates. It will be a $35 co-pay or the full cost for sentenced/convicted inmates. Previously, those amounts were $25 and free, respectively, for ER visits and dental visits.

Fees will also increase for inmates with Huber privileges. Pennington County inmates will be charged $35 per day. Right now, they’re being charged $25 per day. Out-of-county inmates with Huber privileges will be charged $65 per day as opposed to the current rate of $50 per day.

The cost of meals for inmates with Huber privileges will also increase to $10. Currently, they are charged $5.

Other fees will increase, including the fee for urinalysis, which will increase to $15 and the full cost for lab confirmation. Right now, individuals don’t have to pay the full cost for lab confirmation.

The fee for the fingerprinting of public applicants will also increase. They will be charged $20 as opposed to the current rate of $15.

The new fees take effect Jan. 1 with the exception of inmate boarding fees for Lake of the Woods County, which has a contract with Pennington County that expires June 21, 2023.



on 25 September 2019

Pennington County law enforcement authorities in the county seat of Thief River Falls, Minn., this month installed an electronic kiosk that can accurately measure for alcohol.

It’s a low-cost move that they and court officials in seven Wisconsin counties since 2018, believe will help them free sheriff’s deputies and probation officers from daily checks of low-level offenders.

Read MoreInstallation of Electronic Kiosks for Testing
on 15 June 2018


Thief River Falls News

A multi-million dollar construction project nears completion in down town Thief River Falls.

The Pennington County Board of Commissioners were provided with an update on the new Justice Center as crews continue working on the project which will combine courthouse, law enforcement and corrections, under one roof.

Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia says they expect to be housing inmates as early as July. He says his staff nearly ready. Kuznia, and Contegrity Group construction manager Pete Filippi asked the Board Tuesday to approve change orders to put the “finishing touches” on the jail portion of the Justice Center.

Read more... 

on 03 August 2019

Later this month, emergency dispatchers in northwestern Minnesota will be able to get a closer glimpse of what’s happening on the other side of the cellphone during a 911 call.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of installing technology that will allow cellphone callers to stream live video and audio to dispatchers when they call 911 for help.

Here’s how it works: A caller on a cellphone dials 911 within the Pennington County service area. If the dispatcher who answers the call thinks it would be helpful to be able to see and hear what the caller is seeing and hearing, they can send a text message to the caller’s cellphone, asking to take over the camera. It’s up to the caller to accept or decline.

"They have to agree to open up their camera so it can be activated," explained Sheriff Ray Kuznia.



on 19 January 2018

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (Valley News Live) It was a contentious decision to raise taxes in Pennington County for the new facility, but law enforcement says there are dire security risks and wasted resources that will be fixed with this new building.

"It's going to make things a lot safer for everybody," said Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia.


New Direct Phone Numbers

The new Corrections (Jail) Phone Number is 218-416-7097. Please call this number for any inmate related questions.

Inmate voice mail line is 218-416-1120.

Sentence to Serve (STS) / Wade Cota - 218-683-7001

Jail Administrator / Dave Casanova -  218-416-7095 * Assistant Jail Administrator / Jo Williams - 218-416-7098 * Jail Programmer / Travis Black - 218-416-7082