LAW & PUBLIC SAFETYJailJails Past and Present   

Jails Past and Present

A Historical View of Jail Operations  

1995 Jail

1923 Jail

1890 Jail


1995 Jail

1923 Jail

1890 Jail


St. Louis County provides a safe, secure and professionally operated Jail.  The Sheriff and Jail Administrator oversee a 197 bed jail in Duluth as well as two 72 hour lockup facilities on the Range.  The Hibbing lockup can accommodate 8 inmates and the Virginia lockup can hold 12 inmates.  These facilities consistently exceed Department of Corrections requirements and attempt to meet the growing needs of the State Court, Department of Corrections, Public Defender's Office, County Attorney's Office and other area stakeholders.

In addition, the St. Louis County Jail provides a safe, secure and clean facility for the citizens of St. Louis County. The St. Louis County Jail is an integral part of the criminal justice system; they cooperate with other agencies, share training resources, promote mutual respect and welcome community involvement. 

Current Jail Facility 1979 Jail Population 1941 Prisoner Cost 1923 Jail 1907 Jail Interior Photos 1898 County Jail 1891 Prisoner Boarding 1890 Jail 1889 Jail Stats Pre-1890 Information 1888 Expenses Construction Overview

In 1889, Oliver Traphagen designed the red brick county jail that also held the sheriff's living quarters.  The jail was located at 614 East Third Street.  The Sheriff and his family lived in the front section of the building and the rear held cells.  The Sheriff's wife cooked meals for the prisoners.   

Source: Images of America Duluth Minnesota by Maryanne C. Norton and Sheldon T. Aubut

Date of erection: 1890
Material: Brick and steel
Cost: 64,250
No. of cells: 39
Prisoners to a cell: 1
Capacity of Jail: 39
Average No. one time: 78
Average No. prisoners: 28.8
Cells for women: 2

“The St. Louis county jail is a thoroughly satisfactory building in all respects. The general plan of the jail proper is practically the same as those of Otter Tail, Olmstead and Goodhue counties.  It is in every way a satisfactory jail, admitting of the separation of prisoners and affording separate provision for prisoners of different classes.  A view of this jail will be found in the frontispiece, and the plan of the jail is given in connection with the description of the St. Louis county jail.”    

Source: excerpt from the Fourth Biennial Report – State Board of Corrections and Charities – dated October 31, 1890

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