Anonymous Donor Gives $1 Million For New County Jail

Current detention facility has exceeded capacity and county is planning to build new jail

By Justin Franz
A guard checks rooms at the Flathead County Detention Center. Beacon file photo

Flathead County has received $1 million from an anonymous donor for the construction of a new jail.

County Administrator Mike Pence announced the donation on March 8 and said it will be added to the $6 million the county has already saved for a new jail. The contributor indicated additional funds may be provided in the future and requested anonymity, Pence said.

“We have not established a fundraising effort, but sincerely appreciate this gift and any others small or large to fund the needed jail facility project,” Pence said.

Flathead County’s current jail was built 30 years ago to hold approximately 60 inmates but it now often holds more than 100 on a nightly basis.

In late 2016, the county began a $1.3 million expansion of the existing facility to add 40 beds to the facility, but Sheriff Chuck Curry said a new jail would still be needed in the coming years.