Administrative Control Unit
Most Minnesota Department of Corrections facilities have a restricted housing unit which is separated from the general population. MCF-Oak Park Heights has a restricted housing unit that is operated at the highest level of security – the Administrative Control Unit (ACU) .
The ACU often houses inmates for disciplinary reasons but may also house some inmates on Administrative Segregation. This type of restricted housing is not disciplinary in nature. Sometimes it is used during pending investigations or when continued inmate presence in the general population could pose a particular safety concern.
Corrections staff must make visual observations of inmates on a pre-determined irregular schedule, at least every 30 minutes. Staff make more frequent observations of inmates who are violent, those with serious mental health concerns, or those who are demonstrating unusual behavior. The warden or a senior level designee must visit the unit at least weekly to observe living and working conditions.
A mental health professional personally interviews and prepares a written report on all inmates remaining in restricted housing for more than 30 days, and every three months thereafter. Staff must immediately notify mental health services if any inmate requests mental health services or an inmate exhibits signs of depression, disorientation, or unusual behavior. Witnessing staff must immediately notify the watch commander.
The following items are allowed in restricted housing: clothing, footwear, towels, bedding, writing paper and pen, inmate communication forms, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, restricted housing information packet, and a comb.
These additional items are also allowed unless prohibited for safety or security reasons: personal mail, legal materials, wedding rings, approved religious items, shower thongs, address book, eyeglasses, dentures, prosthesis, approved canteen items, ear plugs, and envelopes.
Certain magazines, newspapers, publications, books, and education materials may also be approved as well as radios (in some cases).