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Agency Background History

The history of the Department of Corrections outlines important events in corrections, dating back to establishment of the territorial prison. It also traces the department's history since its founding by the Minnesota Legislature in 1959.

Download copy of Retrospective (PDF)
A history of corrections in Minnesota
1953 - 1999

1853 - 1889

DOC History

A territorial prison was established at Stillwater funded through a $20,000 Congressional appropriation. By the mid-1850s the prison included a yard enclosed by a 14-foot high stone wall with gates of heavy iron, a cell house with 16 cells, two shop buildings, other small structures and a stable. The warden's residence, now a historical building, stands high on the bluff overlooking what was the prison complex.


The State Prison at Stillwater in 1912


Minnesota became a state and the territorial prison became the first state prison. The new warden tightened security, ordering muskets and bayonets to be used by guards; reduced prison accessibility by outsiders; and refused to accept county prisoners.

The first good-time law was passed as an incentive for good behavior in prison. Prisoners earned three days off their sentence for every month of good conduct.

Minnesota 's second correctional institution, the House of Refuge for juveniles, was established in St. Paul. Located on the site of a large farm west of the State Capitol where Concordia College now stands, it had two buildings for boys and one for girls. It was one of the first reform schools without bars and security walls. Soon after being established, the House of Refuge was renamed the Minnesota State Reform School.

A law was enacted to permit prisoners to earn income from their labor.


Articles made by offenders at the State Reform School in 1875


The notorious Younger Brothers of the Jesse James gang entered the State Prison at Stillwater.

Orphan asylums were established to prevent delinquency, caring for approximately 130 dependent and neglected children.

At the State Prison, typical prison food consisted of boiled meat, potatoes, vegetable and two slices of bread on a tin dish with a cup of water. Coffee, tea and porridge were also served. Milk was a delicacy reserved for the sick. Fruit, butter, salt and pepper were unthought-of luxuries.

The legislature established the State Board of Corrections and Charities. Its purpose was to investigate various state institutions, provide advice on improving their operations, and prevent irregularities in their management. Each institution was required to have a Board of Managers.

The legislature appointed a commission to recommend a location for a second state prison "to be situated at or upon some of the stone quarries of our state." St. Cloud was chosen.

Making the second prison a reformatory was decided by a joint committee of the State Prison. The Minnesota State Reformatory for Men was conceived as an institution for correcting criminal tendencies before they became chronic. It was felt that a younger prisoner could not be reformed by locking him up with the hardened criminals at the State Prison at Stillwater.


An inmate in solitary confinement at the State Reformatory in 1917


The first inmates were transferred from the State Prison to the new Minnesota State Reformatory for Men. Its first 128-cell building was constructed of granite quarried at the reformatory site. The Minnesota Thresher Company received a two year lease on inmate labor at the State Prison. Bob Younger died from tuberculosis in the State Prison.

Cell capacity of the State Prison grew from 22 cells to 582. In 1861, an addition included three cells for women.

The Minnesota State Reform School relocated to Red Wing. The cornerstone was laid on May 20, 1890, and the facility formally opened in 1891. The original site in St. Paul was too small and the buildings crowded, inconvenient and greatly in need of repairs. The water supply was inadequate and the surrounding area was becoming more populated.

Scaffold on which offender was hanged in Hennepin County Jail in 1895

"Conditional hearing with restraint" began which allowed adult offenders considered to be good risks to be released from prison prior to their discharge date, forerunner to the parole system. One million pounds of finished twine were produced in the State Prison twine factory.

A new parole law was passed by the legislature authorizing release of prisoners on parole prior to expiration of sentence.

The Minnesota State Reform School at Red Wing was renamed the Minnesota State Training School for Boys and Girls.

An agency was established by the legislature to supervise children released from the Minnesota State Training School. The department was to furnish homes and supervision for children on parole. With an annual appropriation of $3,000, it was believed that if the department kept 20 children from returning to the training school, it would pay for itself.

Inmates and guards in the dining room of the State prison in 1900

Legislation abolished the Board of Corrections and Charities and the Board of Managers. The Board of Control was established to supervise all state institutions and became the paroling authority for the State Prison and Reformatory. The privilege of parole consideration was extended to include inmates imprisoned for life. Jim and Cole Younger were paroled.

State Reformatory employee with bloodhounds in 1900


The legislature authorized establishment of juvenile courts within the district courts in the state's three largest counties-Ramsey, Hennepin and St. Louis-to handle all juvenile cases. County probation departments were established in connection with the newly authorized juvenile courts.

The botched hanging of William Williams took place when the Ramsey County Sheriff miscalculated the length of rope for the execution. The rope and Mr. Williams' neck stretched and the murderer's feet touched the floor. Deputies had to pull the rope upward causing Mr. Williams' death by strangulation, which took over fourteen minutes. This was more than spectators could stomach. After the execution was publicized in local newspapers, public sentiment started the legislature on a course that led to repeal of the death penalty in 1911.

The prison band at the State Prison in 1907


The movement to have a separate school for delinquent girls gained support from the press, public officials and institution administrators, and the Minnesota Home School for Girls was authorized by the legislature. In 1908 Sauk Centre was named as the site for the school.

Probate courts were given juvenile court jurisdiction in the 84 counties without juvenile courts.

Cell 143 at the State Reformatory in 1910

Capital punishment was abolished by the legislature, substituting life imprisonment for "death by hanging."

Indeterminate sentences were established. Any person convicted of a felony was sentenced for an indeterminate period and could be kept under the jurisdiction of the Board of Control as long as necessary, but not to exceed the maximum provided by law. The Minnesota Home School for Girls at Sauk Centre opened.

A new state prison was approved to be built at Bayport and construction began.

State Reformatory under construction in 1895

The Children's Code was enacted to protect the rights of children and embodied a modern approach to their proper handling.

The new prison at Bayport opened to replace the State Prison at Stillwater, thus eliminating problems concerning space and living conditions. With the pressing need for a more modern facility met, more money and attention could be devoted to providing increased educational and recreational opportunities for inmates. Prison industries grew rapidly. Experts at the time considered the prison to be one of the most modern penal institutions in the world.

On March 4, at a legislative hearing at the State Capitol, Mrs. Isabel Davis Higbee made a plea for establishment of a reformatory for women. She argued in favor of a new institution where women offenders would neither be incarcerated with male inmates nor with teenage girls. At the conclusion of her talk, Mrs. Higbee collapsed and died. On March 10, the legislature passed a bill authorizing establishment of the women's reformatory. At the time, the majority of women law-breakers were found guilty of prostitution and were usually fined and sent home or committed to the workhouse for a short term. Others were sent to the State Prison, the State Reformatory or the girls' school. The superintendent at the reformatory took women inmates into his home or placed them in the local jail.

Construction of the longest granite wall in the world built using prison labor was completed at the State reformatory. The wall is over one mile long, 22 feet high, four and one-half feet thick and constructed from granite quarried within the prison grounds.

The indeterminate sentence was modified to allow the sentencing judge to specify the maximum sentence.

The Minnesota State Reformatory for Women officially opened, receiving its first inmates transferred from the State Prison at Stillwater.

State Prison at Bayort in 1926


Shakopee Women's Reformatory farm in 1926


All clothing worn by men in state institutions was produced at the St. Cloud Reformatory.

The State Board of Parole was made a separate department with three members appointed by the governor. One member served as a full-time director. A statewide probation system for district courts was established.

The Minnesota Probation and Parole Association was formed. In 1966 the Association became the Minnesota Corrections Association.

Reformatory prison camps were authorized by the legislature.

The Board of Control was abolished and the Department of Social Security created. All powers of the State Board of Control were transferred to the Director of Public Institutions and the newly created Department of Social Security.


Warden and deputy warden demonstrating possible use of television cameras for
security purposes at the State Prison in 1939


In accordance with a bill passed by the legislature, a portion of the State Reformatory was set apart by the Director of Public Institutions for the care of delinquent "feeble-minded or mentally deficient persons." These persons were committed as mentally deficient wards, rather than sentenced as criminal offenders. The law was repealed in 1963.

The Youth Conservation Commission (YCC) was established in law to assume the authority of the Director of Public Institutions relating to juvenile offenders. Minnesota was the second state to create this type of youth authority. Its purpose was to prevent delinquency and crime and to re-train the offender. The YCC received youth 18 to 23 years-old committed from district courts.


Cellhouse A at St. Cloud State Reformatory in 1923


State reception and diagnostic centers were established. The receiving cottage at the Minnesota State Training School for Boys and a cottage at the Minnesota Home School for Girls were designated as reception and diagnostic centers for the YCC. A section of the Minnesota State Reformatory for Men was designated as a YCC reception center and the first ward was admitted.

Responsibility for juveniles in state correctional schools was transferred to the YCC. With this action the legislature gave the YCC complete jurisdiction over delinquent youth committed to the state. The first statewide system of probation and parole for juveniles went into effect.

A Youth Forestry Camp was established at Willow River for young male felons. Formerly, the site was a WPA camp established in 1934.

A major riot occurred at Stillwater Prison with serious damage. Inmates were protesting prison conditions and rules. There were reports that residents in nearby Bayport could hear the inmates shouting.

A Forestry Camp opened at Thistledew Lake for delinquent boys 16 to 18 years-old.

The first juvenile detention facilities in Minnesota were completed by Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.

Inmates at the State Reformatory manufacturing license plates in 1954


The Minnesota Department of Corrections was formed, combining the Youth Conservation Commission, the State Board of Parole and adult institutions formerly administered by the Department of Public Welfare. The Board of Parole was renamed the Adult Corrections Commission.

The Court Probation Act was enacted by the legislature. Counties were required to provide probation services to its juvenile court in one of three local optional methods: counties could establish their own probation services, contract with the state Department of Corrections for such services, or enter into joint powers agreements with adjoining counties.

The Juvenile Court Code was approved by the legislature defining jurisdiction of juvenile courts over delinquent, neglected, dependent and adoptive children.

The state acquired an abandoned Air Force radar site in Rochester for a new Youth Vocational Center.

At the State Prison, a group of inmates was forced back to their cells by 150 bayoneted guards. In another incident, tear gas was used to quell a disturbance.

St. Croix Camp, the state's third camp, opened. The camp was eventually sold to the Wilder Foundation. A new Ramsey County Workhouse opened in St. Paul.

The legislature enacted the Probation Subsidy Act which provided a subsidy to counties for probation services. In return, probation officers provided services to wards of the Youth Conservation Commission who were residents of those counties.

The state's fourth camp, the Youth Vocational Center, opened to receive youth 16 to 18 years-old for vocational training in automotive repair and food preparation.

The Minnesota Reception and Diagnostic Center opened for juveniles and youthful offenders at Circle Pines. Authorized by the legislature in 1957, the facility was also the site of the children's center for treatment of emotionally disturbed children operated by the Department of Public Welfare. The facility was managed by the state Department of Administration.

The reception center at the Minnesota State Reformatory closed.

Two inmates were murdered by two other inmates at a minimum-security camp operated at Moose Lake by the Minnesota State Reformatory. The perpetrators absconded, stole a car, and took a hostage, but were captured. The camp closed within two weeks of the killings.

For the first time, boys were admitted to the Home School for Girls at Sauk Centre. In 1967, the legislature changed the name of the institution to the Minnesota Home School.

The legislature authorized the state corrections department to operate a work release program. The statute authorized the corrections commissioner to permit screened inmates to work at paid employment or participate in community vocational programming.

AMICUS, which matches citizen volunteers in the community with inmates while they are incarcerated, was incorporated.

Offender work programs were authorized by the legislature in 1967


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.

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.

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.

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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


For the first time, sex offenders outnumbered all other categories of inmates in the state correctional system representing 18.5 percent or 430 adult inmates. Programs for sex offenders expanded in the department.

The department sponsored the first National Workshop on Women Offenders. Collection of a surcharge on wages earned by inmates began and was used for crime victim programs.

The new, state-of-the-art MCF-Shakopee opened across the street from the old institution which was later razed.

Minnesota 's Sentencing to Service (STS) program was established. STS puts locally sentenced, non-dangerous offenders to work on community improvement projects.

The department's first affirmative action officer was appointed and the first affirmative action committee formed.

A minimum-security unit opened on the grounds of the Moose Lake Regional Treatment Center. Eventually, the entire treatment center was converted to a medium-security prison. From 1990 to 1994, the facility also housed adult female inmates.

Legislation was approved authorizing the corrections commissioner to convert part of the Faribault Regional Treatment Center to a medium-security prison.

The legislature began its annual passage of crime bills, substantially increasing criminal penalties. Eventually, sentencing guidelines were doubled for all crimes in the higher severity levels, time was increased from 17 to 30 years before parole eligibility for life sentences for first-degree murder, and life without parole was created for certain crimes.

The legislature established the Intensive Supervision Program which places selected, higher-risk offenders under strict control and surveillance in the community.

An Office of Diversity was created in the state corrections department.

as the magazine's national winner for having a cost-effective correctional system.Financial World Minnesota was selected by

Minnesota 's version of the "boot camp" prison was established, replacing the camp at Willow River. The Challenge Incarceration Program is an intensive, highly structured and disciplined program for selected non-dangerous drug and property offenders.

The Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, operated by a local private entity, was issued its first license by the state corrections department. In 1996, Corrections Corporation of America assumed management of the facility.

Minnesota's version of the boot camp prison opened at Willow River in 1992

Controlled movement was implemented by the warden at Stillwater, restricting the number of inmates moving at one time. Other restrictions were implemented, including control of inmate movement within each cell block tier.

The legislature approved $2 million for pre-design of a close-security prison that later is located at Rush City.

MINNCOR, the state's prison industry program, was formed to integrate and centralize administration and sales functions of the department's various industry operations.

An expansion at the MCF-Shakopee was completed to address increasing populations.

The first phase of a statewide effort to reduce burgeoning caseloads of probation officers was funded. The State Probation Standards Task Force documented the need to reduce caseloads as the total number on probation in Minnesota reached nearly 100,000.

The department was the first correctional agency in the nation to establish a restorative justice office with a full-time staff person. Restorative justice is a framework for the criminal justice system that emphasizes ways in which crime harms relationships in the context of community. It provides for participation by the victim, the offender, and the community in community reparation.

Bonding in the amount of $89 million was approved by the legislature for construction of a new close-custody prison for adult males. It is later determined that it will be a 950-bed, level-four institution.

The MCF-Lino Lakes was expanded to a capacity of 1,000.

The MCF-St. Cloud became the admitting facility for the department for all adult male offenders.

Minnesota 's prison population, increasing at a rapid rate in recent years, reached over 5,000 inmates. Population growth is due to a combination of factors, including the effects of increased criminal penalties and court volume.

An escape attempt at Stillwater was thwarted when three inmates hiding in a garbage truck were observed by the truck's driver.

A work program for adult offenders was established at Camp Ripley by the legislature. The program closed in 1999 due to lack of use.

A new 232-bed chemical dependency unit opened at the MCF-Lino Lakes.

Conversion of the former Moose Lake Regional Treatment Center to a medium-security prison housing over 600 inmates was completed.

The MCF-Faribault expanded its capacity to over 800 beds.

In accordance with state law, as of August 1 no inmates or staff in state correctional facilities could possess or use tobacco.

The legislature established a camp for juvenile offenders at Camp Ripley to be operated by the corrections department. It is later transferred to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Conversion of the Moose Lake Regional Treatment Center to the
Moose Lake correctional facility was completed in 1997

The state corrections department contracted with a private vendor for inmate health care services. The contract includes inpatient hospital care, and the department's secure unit at Regions Hospital is closed.

A new Center for Crime Victim Services was created which combined victim services from a number of agencies including the state corrections department.

Funding was approved for a new project operated through the department's Institution Community Work Crew program to use nonviolent inmates to build affordable housing for low-income families.

The MCF-Sauk Centre was closed.

After deliberations regarding the potential operation of the new state prison at Rush City by the private sector, the legislature appropriated funds for operation of the prison by the state corrections department. The prison is scheduled to open in January 2000.

The state corrections department began a comprehensive community outreach program to increase citizen participation in corrections. A number of citizen advisory groups are formed and a series of community days and forums held.


The 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 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.

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