Saturday, February 24, 2018

Two Rivers Detention Facility open for business

Identifier number required to take in prisoners
“We’ve been working real hard,” he said, “so when it does happen we are set to go.” - Facility Warden Ken Keller


Two Rivers Detention Facility Warden Ken Keller informed Two Rivers Authority board members at their Monday meeting the facility was officially opened for business on July 28. 

“The Crow Tribe wanted us to take 30 last week,” he said.

Keller explained that they were unable to take the detainees until their identifier number with the System for Award Management (SAM) is completed. This is the U.S. Federal Contractor Registration. 

Currently, the facility has 31 corrections officers and 20 support staff employed. 

“Fourteen new hires started training Monday,” Keller said. “Most are local, a few from Billings and surrounding communities including people from the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap Reservations.”

Keller informed the board that he is talking to counties in the eastern part of the state as well as counties in northern Wyoming.

“Big Horn County is not out of the picture,” he said. “The sheriff went through the facility and was totally impressed.”

Keller explained that a lot of the detainees at the Big Horn County Jail are one or two day holds, but the facility could take some of their longer-term inmates.

When asked when the facility would be filled, Keller said, “I have no idea, but we should hit 40 to 60 detainees quickly and up to 200 in a fairly reasonable amount of time.”

Keller explained that the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and the Crow Reservation are ready to go. 

He said the final piece needed to be placed before letting in prisoners was the SAM identifier number.

According to Keller, the facility is staffed well enough to handle 100 inmates.

“We’ve been working real hard,” he said, “so when it does happen we are set to go.”

One other issue Keller told board members that he was dealing with is working to exchange the .357 Magnum double action pistols for semi-automatic. Four of them have been fired and one was flagged “do not use” because it does not work.

“I’ve been working with Gayle at Lammer’s on a trade,” he said.

In other business, the TRA has $3,773 dollars in its checking account and the reserve account has $123,717.

The next TRA meeting will be held Sept. 1 at the Two Rivers Detention Facility.