Inmates Speak Out, Want Stillwater Prison Lockdown Lifted

August 10, 2018 06:30 PM

More than three weeks after a Minnesota correctional officer was killed while on-duty, current and former inmates are speaking out, demanding the lockdown at Stillwater Prison be lifted in full.

"It's unfortunate that anybody gotta get killed in this situation," said Desmond Reed, a representative of the Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. "My condolences to the family. But we need somebody to represent the ones that's still being mistreated because of that incident."


Stillwater Prison has been on lockdown in some capacity since July 18, the day corrections officer Joseph Gomm was killed. Reed, who has been incarcerated previously, said inmates have dealt with inhumane conditions ever since the lockdown began. Reed cited a lack of laundry, showers and what he calls humiliating treatment.

RELATED: DOC: Lockdown Lifted at all Minnesota Prisons Except Stillwater


Reed also pointed out that Edward Johnson, the man authorities say killed Gomm, is no longer locked up in Stillwater. He's since been moved to the corrections facility in Oak Park Heights.

"So he's being dealt with," Reed said, "But what about the 1,600 other guys?"

The Department of Corrections weighed in Friday, with a spokesperson saying Stillwater is currently transitioning off of lockdown. The spokesperson added that inmate visits have resumed. The spokesperson added that during the lockdown, offenders got showers every three days and were given hygiene bags.

RELATED: County Attorney to Ask For Immediate Grand Jury for Inmate Accused of Killing Corrections Officer

She said there's no set end date for the lockdown, calling the transition a process.

A representative of AFSCME Council 5, a union that represents correctional officers, said they had no comment on the matter at this time.


Josh Rosenthal

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