Minnesota Department of Corrections announces plan to close 2 prisons

It's the result of a "substantial budget crisis."
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 12.25.10 PM

The Minnesota Department of Corrections says it's notified staff and state leaders about plans to close two state prisons thanks to an ongoing budget crisis.

The proposal to close its two smallest facilities – MCF-Togo in northern Minnesota and MCF-Willow River in Moose Lake – comes after the most recent Special Sessions of the Minnesota Legislature resulted in no decision being made on the DOC's "supplemental budget request."

Togo and Willow River are minimum security bootcamps that are part of the state's Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP), with Togo housing 90 male inmates and Willow River 180.

The department says it's facing a budget shortfall of $14 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

The department says that its CIP program would continue to operate in the event of the Togo and Willow River closures, but at other facilities.

The closures would affect 48 full-time workers at Togo, and 51 at Willow River, with "most" of the positions set to be eliminated.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The DOC says it will also make a series of job cuts in the Department of Corrections Commissioner's office and administrative services.

"We take these steps out of a commitment to deliver critically needed services that offer opportunity for transformation and a safer Minnesota,” said DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell.

"While the actions we announced today are immensely difficult, Minnesotans rightly expect that we be responsible stewards of public resources as we fulfill the agency’s mission." 

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.

1024px-Hudson,_Wisconsin_9

St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.

Related

Corrections officer injured by inmate at St. Cloud prison

It follows another attack in St. Cloud a few weeks ago.

MCF Red Wing

First COVID-19 cases confirmed in Minnesota's prison system

A staff member and an inmate have tested positive.

Stillwater MCF

Inmate with COVID-19 dies amid major outbreak at Stillwater prison

Almost two-thirds of inmates at the prison have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic started.

Minnesota DOC had right to fire Stillwater Prison warden, court rules

Steven Hammer was dismissed in 2016, amid complaints dating back to 2014.