Arrested? Here’s what happens next at Stearns County Jail.
Clairissa Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
People may be familiar with mugshots and the one-phone-call rule, but what else happens after you’ve been arrested?
Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, also known as Assembly for Civil Rights, met with correctional officers Monday morning to discuss the process, from arrest to release.
Lt. Sean Haney and two correctional officers discussed the information they gather during the process and how they address language barriers.
First, the arresting agency, but not necessarily the arresting officer, will take the suspect to the Stearns County Jail.
All new arrivals start in the Law Enforcement Center sally port, which is a controlled vehicle entrance to the facility.
On the second floor, the suspect is taken to the intake desk, where correctional officers collect identification and medical information. An ‘X’, marked in tape on the floor, shows people where to stand across from the intake desk.
While arresting officers generally conduct a search of their own, according to Haney, the Stearns County Jail personnel will conduct a thorough patdown search of the person at the intake desk.
If there appears to be a language barrier, a device called ‘ELSA’ will be used to connect officers and the arrestee to a translator within minutes. The device allows for access to translators in nearly 200 languages, according to Haney. An iPad can facilitate communication for deaf or hard-of-hearing people.
Name, date of birth, address and scars, tattoos and birth marks are some of the details officers gather.
And in case people don’t have the phone numbers of friends or relatives memorized, officers will allow people to search their cell phone and write down the number of someone they wish to call before turning over their phone. Before joining the general jail population, all personal belongings are turned over for safekeeping.
Then one of the most familiar steps takes place: booking photos and fingerprints are taken for identification purposes.
Before heading to a holding cell, officers will escort the person to a telephone station, in the center of the holding cells, which provides a list of numbers for lawyers and bail bond businesses.
The officers working in the jail are not licensed peace officers, according to Lt. Sean Haney, and do not ask inmates questions about their charges.
After making their allotted call, suspects may then be changed into a jail uniform.
In addition to the approximately 18 booking cells in the Stearns County Jail, there are multiple ‘professional rooms’ where people can meet with their lawyers.
After someone is booked into jail, depending on the case, they will either be released into general population housing at the jail, or they will be released altogether.
The jail consists of six housing units, according to the Stearns County website, which includes 108 beds and more than 10 holding cells, in addition to separation and medical cells.
Follow Clairissa Baker on Twitter @clairissabaker or call her at 320-255-8740.