Ramsey Co. officials say complaints at jail are ‘shocking’
Plus …As baby faces rare genetic disorder, Minnesota family raises $70K for therapy.
Partly cloudy early with a mix of rain and snow in the afternoon. High temperatures near 38.
Ramsey Co. officials say medical complaints at jail are ‘shocking and appalling’
State officials say they had to step in after a complaint in January that the safety and health of people housed at the Ramsey County jail are at risk.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections sent a letter Friday ordering Sheriff Bob Fletcher to cut the jail population immediately. He has until the close of business Monday to present a plan to the state on how he’ll address overcrowding, staffing and providing medical care at the jail. The jail capacity must be reduced by noon on Wednesday, under the state’s order.
DOC officials said the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center has repeatedly failed to meet minimum staffing requirements, violating state regulations.
Since September, DOC officials have found at least four instances where people housed at the jail were denied or delayed emergency medical care, according to the letter to Fletcher. Those incidents include someone involved in a car crash, someone who had ingested drugs, someone bleeding for two hours without medical attention and someone suspected of having a stroke who was admitted to the hospital an hour and a half after symptoms were first observed.
“All of those are shocking and appalling. And we know that investigation is ongoing, so hopefully we don’t find more, but it’s certainly possible,” said County Board Chair Trista MatasCastillo.
MatasCastillo said she was first notified of issues of jail overcrowding late last fall through Ramsey County Public Health workers. She said staff reached out to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office multiple times.
“When it was apparent after three solid communications that we were not going to get anywhere, we decided to self-report to the Department of Corrections,” MatasCastillo said.
On Friday, the state ordered the jail to reduce its total capacity to 360. The 500-bed facility was also ordered to reduce its bed capacity to 324. The jail’s current population is around 370, down from 444 last fall, MatasCastillo said.
The state’s investigation also found minimum staffing levels were not met during at least 12 shifts between Jan. 7 and Jan. 25.
“The quality of service certainly is jeopardized. It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to be in the jail, of course. And this concern arises, and we want to make sure that people are safe when they’re in our care,” MatasCastillo said.
County staff members said they’ve been working on a plan all weekend to address the problem.
Fletcher told FOX 9 he’s been trying to raise overcrowding concerns with the Ramsey County Board since last May.
“Overcrowding isn’t a new problem. It’s part of a nationwide trend and entirely predictable, caused by significant increases in crime, massive backlogs in the criminal justice system and a nationwide worker shortage,” Fletcher said in a statement.
As for potential solutions, he said he’s “aggressively recruiting and hiring corrections officers” and working with county commissioners to address the problem.
In the meantime, Fletcher said his office will move some inmates to other secure facilities in Minnesota. No inmates will be released.
Another solution he proposed is making better use of the Ramsey County Workhouse, also known as the Ramsey County Correctional Facility, which he said is only using 25 percent of its capacity.
MatasCastillo said that could be a short-term solution if funds from the sheriff’s budget could accommodate that. However, she questions whether the department has enough staff for that to be a long-term solution.
Catch Up Quick
👮 Police are searching for a suspect after three people were injured in a shooting overnight in Minneapolis’ North Loop that police believe started with an argument at a bar.
🍽️ U.S. agriculture officials on Friday proposed new nutrition standards for school meals, including the first limits on added sugars, with a focus on sweetened foods such as cereals, yogurt, flavored milk and breakfast pastries.
🎵 Grammys 2023: Beyoncé makes history as the ceremony’s most decorated artist in history and Harry Styles wins album of the year.
As baby faces rare genetic disorder, Minnesota family raises $70K for therapy
At almost one year old, Megan And Charlie Hieb’s daughter Lucy faces unique challenges brought on by CTNNB1. The rare genetic syndrome affects just a few hundred people in the world, but its effects are life changing.
“Intellectual delay, cognitive delay, developmental delay,” Megan said. “When you find out your child has this you have to recalibrate your whole life… it’s like my life kind of went before my eyes.”
CTNNB1 syndrome can hamper nearly every aspect of life, including the ability to walk, talk and think. There aren’t any known treatments for the condition; so Lucy is spending four days a week in physical therapy.
Ahead of her first birthday on Mar. 31st, her parents decided to start a two-month fundraiser. They’re working with the CTNNB1 foundation to do their part, trying to raise $100,000 to help fund new CTNNB1 gene therapy. “We have raised almost $70,000 in five days, we’re blown away,” Megan said.
With everything going on, Megan’s health has added to the family’s stress. The mom of two was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and needs a kidney.
“So we’re spreading the word about her syndrome, and my need for a kidney, and we’ll see what happens,” Megan finished.
On February 26, at Golden Valley’s Mainstream Boutique, organizers will have a Shop for a Cause day, with 20% of all sales donated to “Love for Lucy.”
Anyone interested in being screened to be a kidney donor can reach out to Megan’s coordinator here.
To manage your preferences or unsubscribe, click here.
FOX 9 11358 Viking Dr. Eden Prairie, MN 55344