Flathead County Jail Expansion Opens

Expansion increases the jail bed count to 164

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

Inmates were moved into a newly built addition of the Flathead County Detention Center on July 2, according to Sheriff Chuck Curry.

The expansion into the old county attorney’s office at the Flathead County Justice Center in Kalispell increases the jail bed count to 164. With the expanded jail space, the county is now able to let people convicted of misdemeanors to serve their sentences at the county jail. For more than a year, the county has only been able to hold people convicted or accused of dangerous felonies.

“We are using every available inch of real estate,” Curry said.

The jail expansion cost about $1.3 million. The current jail was built in the 1980s to hold about 60 inmates but in recent years it’s had to hold more than 100, much more than it can handle. While Curry said the addition would help the county’s jail crowding issue in the near future it is not a long-term solution. The county is hoping to begin studying the construction of a brand new jail in the coming months.

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