Immigration Detention Justice Center

Sherburne County Jail

The Sherburne County Jail is the largest immigration detention facility in Minnesota.  Located in Elk River, Minnesota, the jail houses approximately 1,600 ICE detainees per year, the vast majority of whom are Mexican nationals.  The jail has a 30-year contract with ICE, of which 10 years are completed.

Contact Information

Contacting the Facility

Address:

Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Drive
Elk River, Minnesota 55330

Phone:

(763)241-2500 or (800)433-5245

Contacting A Detainee

To speak to a detainee by phone, you will have to make arrangements for the detainee to call you.  The Sherburne County jail staff will not pass messages to detainees or connect you directly to an inmate.  Because inmate phone calls to family and friends are not free, you will need to add money to the person’s phone account.

To deposit money in the person’s account, visit www.govpaynow.com, or call (888)604-7888.  The PLC codes are 6040 and 6041.  You can also go to the facility and deposit cash into the inmate’s commissary account.  To do this, however, you must be on the person’s official visitors list.

To visit the a person, go to the facility address at the following dates and times:

  • Monday through Saturday, between 8:30am-11:30am, and 2:30pm-4:15pm
  • Wednesday from 6pm-7:45pm

To send mail to the person, use the following address:

Inmate Name and Alien Number
Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Drive
Elk River, Minnesota 55330

Contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Inside Sherburne County Jail in Elk River, Minnesota

Inside Sherburne County Jail in Elk River, Minnesota

The deportation officers are officed in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is 45 miles from the jail. To reach an officer, call (952)853-2550.  You can also visit the Bloomington ERO Field Office at 2901 Metro Drive, Suite 100, Bloomington, Minnesota 55245 between the hours of 8am and 4pm.  To be routed to the correct officer, you will need to know the detainee’s full name, nationality, and alien number.  The supervising ICE officer for Sherburne County is Assistant Field Office Director Jeff Field.  His supervisor is Bloomington Field Office Director Scott Baniecke.

Getting Released

Immigration Bonds

Many inmates at Sherburne County Jail are eligible for release on an immigration bond.  To find out if ICE has set a bond in a person’s case, call the deportation office in Bloomington, Minnesota at (952)853-2550.  Sometimes ICE denies a person a bond even when he or she is eligible.  Thus, it is important to consult with an immigration attorney about other options of getting released from immigration detention.  For example, detainees can often have a judge set a bond when ICE refuses to do so.

Bond can be posted at any ICE ERO Field Office in the United States.  Persons at Sherburne County Jail are released in the shortest amount of time when bond is posted at the ICE bond office Bloomington, Minnesota:

7851 Metro Parkway
Bloomington, Minnesota 55425

To post bond in Bloomington, go to the office before 3pm, and bring a cashier’s check or money order and two forms of photo ID.  The check or money order should be written to the Department of Homeland Security.

Post-Release

Sherburne County ICE detainees should be picked up directly from the detention facility.  Currently, the Bloomington ICE Field Office does not arrange for the person’s transportation to a nearby bus station or airport.

The Removal Process

Sherburne County ICE detainees are typically placed in removal proceedings within a few weeks of their arrest.  In removal proceedings, the immigrant is charged with removability from the United States.  ICE makes and defends allegations that the person is not entitled to reside here.  Usually the immigrant has the opportunity to respond to these allegations before an immigration court.  Ultimately, the judge decides whether the person can stay in the United States.

Immigration Court

Sherburne County ICE detainees appear before the immigration court in Bloomington, Minnesota.  The Bloomington Immigration Court is located near the DHS office, at 7850 Metro Parkway, Suite 320, Bloomington, Minnesota 55425.  Currently, only of the immigration judges is assigned full-time to detained cases in Minnesota — Judge William J. Nickerson, Jr.  Importantly, when a person is released from immigration detention at Sherburne County, he or she must continue attending all removal hearings in Bloomington.  A failure to appear at a hearing has serious consequences, which most often includes automatic deportation.

Timeframe

It may take up to 3 weeks for a Sherburne County detainee to see an immigration judge.  In 2011, detained cases in Bloomington took an average of 29 days to be completed.

Facility Background

The Sherburne County Jail is no stranger to controversy in the immigrant and civil rights community. In 2007, the Sherburne County Jail made news when the sheriff’s deputy used a stun gun on an immigrant detainee named Salaad Mahamed.  In response,  Mahamed filed a lawsuit against the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.  In the years that followed, ICE gave the facility a rating of “deficient” because of its use of stun guns, which ICE categorizes as “electro-muscular disruption devices.”  On October 23, 2009, ICE reversed course and changed its standards to allow use of these devices.

In October of 2011, a Muslim civil rights groups publicly challenged the Sherburne County Jail’s policy against female inmates wearing headscarves.  The group argued that the ban violated inmates’ First Amendment rights.

The jail has also been criticized for failing to provide interpreters to immigrants who do not speak English.  One public defender noted, “No one in the whole jail staff — and they have over 175 people that work in the jail, including the doctors . . . speaks Spanish.”

Nearby Facilities

If you are having difficulty locating someone at the Sherburne County Jail, you may want to try contacting any the following immigration detention centers:

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