Simplified: The Minnehaha County Jail last year saw an increase in major rule violations, employee turnover and situations where staff had to use force to control a situation, Warden Mike Mattson told county commissioners Tuesday.

Why it matters

  • The jail saw an overall turnover rate of 31 percent in 2021. Of the 45 new officers hired throughout the year, fewer than half remain working for the jail, Mattson said.
  • Meanwhile, jail staff had to use force to control a situation 230 times in 2021, Mattson said.
  • Mattson also reported a 40 percent increase in major rule violations from 2018 to last year, as well as a 50 percent increase in informal discipline and a 60 percent increase in the need for mental health observation.
"Today's offender is much different than in years past," Mattson said. "They have little to no respect for people in uniform. They are quick to argue, difficult to hold accountable and are routinely disrespectful toward staff."

What can be done?

When it comes to turnover, the county has already started working to help by offering wage increases, recruitment and retention bonuses.

  • Mattson said he's optimistic the turnover rate will start to decrease.
  • Already this year, of the 27 new hires, 25 have stuck around.  

When it comes to the other stats, it's not as simple of a calculation.

  • Mattson told commissioners he believes a more consistent staff will help, and that more experienced officers will be better equipped to handle tough situations that arise.
  • He also proposed adding a couple new positions to help out, including a special "housing sergeant" to add a special focus on the jail's housing area and managing any problems that arise there.

What happens next?

Any new positions will have to be funded by the commission.