ALBERT LEA, Minn. – As a way to utilize unused jail space, and make money doing it, Freeborn County entered an agreement with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to temporarily house and transport those facing court hearings and deportation.
The five-year agreement expired, and is now on a yearly basis, but Freeborn County Sheriff, Bob Kindler said there are no plans to stop working with them.
He said the county has made more than $10 million since the beginning. They receive just over $77 per detainee, per day.
“A lot of that goes toward maintaining the detention center facility. It also goes to cover wages and things like that. There is money that is left over that goes back into maintaining the facility,” Kindler said.
Freeborn County is one of four that participate with ICE in the state. Kindler said the price per detainee was set five years ago. He said despite increasing costs, they are satisfied keeping that number the same.
The jail is allowed to hold just over 130 inmates. Kindler said right now a little over 100 are in the jail, and 65 of them are ICE detainees.