History of the Minnesota Department of Corrections
2000The MCF-Rush City opened in January. The $89 million close-custody facility was designed to house 965 offenders, most in double-bunked cells. The facility complex includes 415,953 square feet inside an 82-acre perimeter.
The MCF-Rush City opened in 2000
The department created a legislatively-mandated website to post information provided by local law enforcement to the public about level 3 predatory offenders in Minnesota communities. The website, www.doc.state.mn.us/level3/Search.asp, allows citizens to search by name, city, county, or zip code.
Shakopee opened the Monahan Living Unit, adding 62 beds to the facility. The new unit houses the facility’s treatment program.
The first county probation agencies began using the DOC’s Statewide Supervision System (S3) – a secure, centralized website that contains information on anyone under supervision, in jails, in prison, or in detention facilities.
Five individuals were sworn in as the first law enforcement officers in the DOC’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit. The unit was designated by the legislature as a law enforcement agency with the authority to arrest DOC fugitives.
The Linda Berglin Mental Health Center opened at the MCF-Red Wing. The center, which serves juvenile residents with mental disorders while they are assessed, stabilized, and receive intensive therapy, was named in honor of State Senator Linda Berglin for her exemplary work in the area of mental health.
The InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) unit for male offenders opened at the MCF-Lino Lakes. The faith-based program is funded and operated by Prison Fellowship through a partnership with the DOC. The living unit that houses the IFI program was named in honor of former Minnesota Governor Al Quie for his long-time work with prison ministries.
The MCF-Stillwater opened a new health services unit inside the main building. The previous infirmary was built in the early 1900s.
The kidnapping and murder of college student Dru Sjodin by a sex offender who was released from prison at sentence expiration led to extensive sex offender management reform.
A new k-shaped living unit opened at the MCF-Lino Lakes. The layout allows officers to observe all four wings of the building from one location. The 416-bed unit replaced five existing units and allows for enhanced security along with wet, lockable, double-bunked cells.
In January, the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) for female offenders was moved from Willow River to Thistledew.
Due to population pressures, Shakopee converted some offender common areas to multiple-occupancy rooms, adding 94 beds. A renovation of the Novello unit added another 24 beds.
Addressing prison population pressures, the DOC contracted with county jails to board offenders.
A sharp increase in the manufacture and use of methamphetamine led to a boom in the prison population. By January 1, 2005, the number of meth-related offenders in DOC facilities reached 1,087 -- a nearly 800 percent increase from the 139 incarcerated on January 1, 2001.
In accordance with state statute and consistent with the naming of state-operated correctional facilities, Thistledew Camp was renamed the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Togo. During the year, the camp also celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The Minnesota Legislature enacted mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for some criminal sexual conduct cases. Lawmakers also created the conditional release program for non-violent drug offenders.
The InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) unit for female offenders opened at the MCF-Shakopee.
The legislature expanded conditional release time for sex offenders and added lifetime conditional release for certain sex offenders. Conditional release time is an extended period of supervision, during which the offender is under the authority of the commissioner of corrections.
A walk-away from the Stillwater minimum-security unit that resulted in a fatal car crash led to use of electronic monitoring for all minimum-security offenders.
A comprehensive study of the department’s Challenge Incarceration Program (boot camp) found that the program reduces recidivism and saves taxpayer dollars.
The department created a Reentry Unit to address the needs of the growing number of offenders released from prison.
The MCF-Oak Park Heights celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The warden’s house at the MCF-Stillwater was dedicated the Jack & Adelle Young Conference Center. The Youngs were the last family to live in the home when Jack was warden from 1968-1971. He served as corrections commissioner from 1979-1982.
The Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP) began in collaboration with Dodge/ Fillmore/Olmsted; Hennepin; and Ramsey Counties. The initiative uses evidence-based best practices to develop case plans for offenders both inside the institution and after release.
Staff at the MCF-Stillwater thwarted an escape attempt through discovery of an underground tunnel in the facility’s industry area. Four inmates were found to be involved in the escape attempt.
The first k-building opened at Faribault. The living unit is one of four planned as part of a major expansion project at the facility. The project also included renovation of program space and a remodel of the long-term care unit.
The religious resource center at the MCF-Oak Park Heights was dedicated in honor of Frank Wood who served as the first warden of the facility when it opened in 1982 and commissioner of corrections from 1993-1996.
Production of Minnesota license plates moved from the MCF-St. Cloud to Rush City. The move reflected St. Cloud’s focus as a reception and intake facility and Rush City’s industry focus. It also incorporated a change from embossed plates to flat-plate digital printing technology.
License plate production began at the MCF-Rush City in 2008
A new segregation unit opened at the MCF-Stillwater. The 150-bed unit provides a safer, more functional and energy-efficient means of supervising offenders who must be segregated from the general population. The $19.6 million building features solid doors, electronic locking, and wider hallways.
A $5.375 million addition to the Monahan living unit opened at the MCF-Shakopee. The project added 92 beds and provides programming space for group therapy and chemical dependency treatment.
Created by the legislature in 1959, the DOC recognized its 50th anniversary of correctional services.
Due to a major expansion project, the MCF-Faribault became the state’s largest prison with 1,583 inmates, surpassing Stillwater 1,454 (01/09). At completion, the project nearly doubled the facility’s capacity to approximately 2,000 offenders.
The MCF-Faribault celebrated its 20th anniversary.
A new addition to the Walter Maginnis High School at the MCF-Red Wing nearly doubled the size of the building in order to house vocational programs and place all education activities under one roof.