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History of the Minnesota Department of Corrections
 

1974
Legislation changed the Minnesota Reception and Diagnostic Center at Lino Lakes to the Minnesota Metropolitan Training Center for juveniles from the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Transition from a juvenile to an adult institution began.

The department’s secure medical unit at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital opened to provide acute medical and surgical inpatient care for inmates from department facilities. Conditions at the State Prison were the subject of a legislative investigation concluded in 1976.

The Minnesota Program for Victims of Sexual Assault was created in the department by the legislature.

1976
Legislative authorization was given to begin planning construction of a maximum-security prison at Oak Park Heights.

The legislature appropriated funds to convert the Minnesota Metropolitan Training Center at Lino Lakes into an adult medium/minimum-security prison.

1977
The warden at the Stillwater facility put in place housing assignments, unannounced cell block searches, extended inmate work days and other restrictions. Truckloads of contraband were removed from cells.

Four inmates sawed through bars and scaled the fence to escape from Stillwater Prison.

The Minnesota Program for Battered Women was created in the corrections department. The department formed a victim services unit that included programs for battered women, victims of sexual assault and victim restitution programs.

1978
The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission was established to develop sentencing guidelines for district courts based on reasonable offense and offender characteristics. Guidelines recommend when state imprisonment of a felon is appropriate and sentence length.

1979
State correctional facilities were renamed by the legislature as the Minnesota Correctional Facility (MCF) followed by its geographical location.

An inmate escaped from the Stillwater facility by placing a dummy in his cell and using makeshift materials to scale the wall.

1980
The MCF-St. Cloud was the first state correctional institution in Minnesota to be accredited by the American Correctional Association. Other department facilities, central office, and release and probation offices were accredited in later years.

Sentencing guidelines were implemented as a modified form of determinate sentencing for all crimes except life sentences for first-degree murder. Minnesota’s discretionary parole system ended.

1982
The MCF-Oak Park Heights opened. This maximum-security prison is considered nationally unique in terms of design and security.

Two inmates escaped from the Stillwater facility by hiding in cardboard boxes loaded onto a truck.

The Minnesota Corrections Board was abolished and the corrections commissioner was given the remaining responsibilities of the parole board after sentencing guidelines were implemented. A unit was established in the corrections department to administer the new responsibilities of the commissioner.

A unit was established in the corrections department to administer the commissioner’s responsibilities related to juvenile offenders.


The Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights opened in 1982

1983
A disturbance at the MCF-Stillwater resulted in replacement of over 900 windows.

 

 

 

 

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

651-361-7200

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