STILLWATER, Minn. — Extra police, firefighters, and other emergency teams rushed to the State of Minnesota’s Stillwater Prison Sunday morning after a number of convicts reportedly took over a portion of the facility.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections said Sunday morning that they’ve placed the Stillwater facility under emergency lockdown because roughly 100 inmates in one living unit refuse to return to their cells.
The DOC reports that two correctional officers are safe in the unit’s secure control area, and are in communication with the facility’s command personnel. All DOC staff have been removed from the common areas of the unit currently taken over.
There are no reported injuries as of this time.
DOC spokesperson Andy Skoogman says they’ve activated members of the Crisis Negotiation Team and, “out of an abundance of caution,” have also activated the DOC’s Special Operations Response Team.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, AFSCME Council 5, which represents Minnesota correctional officers, said that understaffing was to blame for the incident.
“Today’s incident at MCF-Stillwater is endemic and highlights the truth behind the operations of the MN Department of Corrections with chronic understaffing leading to upset offenders due to the need to restrict programming and/or recreation time when there are not enough security staff to protect the facility. Our union believes to our core that our correctional facilities cannot have transformational offender programming without sufficient facility security, we can and must have both.”
In total, about 1,200 inmates are at the facility just southeast of Stillwater, according to department records.
Back in 2018, the facility was the site of. Joseph Gomm, 45, was beaten to death with a hammer by Edward Johnson.
This is a developing story. Stay with WCCO as more information is available.
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