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History of the Minnesota Department of Corrections
 

1969
The Community Corrections Center Act was approved by the legislature, authorizing political subdivisions to establish and operate community corrections centers.

Minnesota ’s first correctional halfway house opened and was operated by Volunteers of America.

As the result of a disturbance, the legislature appropriated funds to build a security corridor at the State Reformatory.

The Probationed Offenders Rehabilitation and Training (PORT) program was established at Rochester as a model community corrections project providing post-trial diversion.

1970
A dramatic escape attempt was foiled at the State Prison when the warden fired a shotgun at a cellblock where inmates were cutting bars. During the same incident, three officers were taken hostage and armed inmates unsuccessfully tried to walk out wearing their uniforms. Inmates gave up after listing grievances for a reporter.

A disturbance at the State Prison was quelled with shotguns and tear gas. Disturbances recurred in 1972, 1973, and 1974. An inmate was found murdered in his cell in 1975. An investigation by the legislature commenced.

The State Prison twine factory was closed by the warden, primarily because it did not provide marketable vocational training for inmates.

1971
The State Prison warden was stabbed several times by an inmate who was later committed as mentally ill and dangerous. The warden recovered from his injuries.

1972
The forestry program ended at Willow River Camp, replaced by a vocational and group program for 60 adult male minimum-security inmates.

Legal Aid to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP), a program of the state Public Defender’s Office, began assisting inmates on non-criminal legal matters.

The state restitution center was funded through a federal grant.


Vocational training became the focus at Willow River Camp in 1972

1973
The Adult Corrections Commission (ACC) and the Youth Conservation Commission (YCC) were abolished. The commissioner of corrections was given authority over juveniles formerly under the YCC. The Minnesota Corrections Authority was created as a full-time parole board responsible for adult offenders.

The Community Corrections Subsidy Act was passed, authorizing subsidies to local counties or groups of counties for planning and implementing community-based corrections. Administered by the state corrections department, counties voluntarily join the act and are eligible for funds according to a predetermined formula.

The Ombudsman for Corrections is authorized by the state legislature as an independent state agency. At the time, the office was unique nationally.

Anishinabe Longhouse, a halfway house for American Indian offenders, was established in Minneapolis. The program served offenders for approximately 20 years until it was replaced with contracted services for a larger number of Indian offenders on a statewide basis. A system of due process for inmate discipline was implemented.

 

 

 

 

Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive
Suite 200
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

651-361-7200

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