Montana Detention Facility Initiative Postponed due to COVID-19

By CN Staff

CARBON COUNTY, Mont.—The Carbon County Commission recently announced that it will postpone placing a new detention facility proposal on the ballot this year, due to concerns about COVID-19, according to a report by the Billings Gazette.

In a press release about the postponement, commissioners said the need for a detention facility is not going to go away.

“We will finalize our plans to build the project and design the best facility to serve Carbon County going into the future. We feel the responsible decision right now is to hold off the ballot initiative until a time where things have calmed enough to truly have a fair, informed decision made by our citizens regarding the safety of our county. As long as we meet timelines set forth by the Elections Administrator and state statute, we can have everything in place, and get this on a mail in ballot next year.”

Last December commission officials sought input from the public about building a jail located in Joliet, Mont.

Following the closure of the Carbon County Jail at the courthouse in Red Lodge in 2001, deputies have transported prisoners to Billings. When the Yellowstone County Detention Facility is full, deputies then transport inmates to Bozeman, Forsyth and Townsend—a 400-mile round trip.