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Minnesota Department of Corrections to hire 78 new corrections officers statewide

May 22, 2019 10:13 PM

The Minnesota Department of Corrections asked state lawmakers to fund the hiring of 120 new officers in prisons statewide over the next two years and they will officially get 78 new officers starting July 1.

Commissioner Paul Schnell told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the ability to hire 78 new officers will go a long way toward making prisons safer for officers and inmates.

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"We had hope for 120 new officers and the funding to go with it," said Schnell.  "But, this is a huge thing for us to get 78 new officers who will do a lot toward reaching our goal of safer prisons across the state."

Schnell said this a big first step in making correctional facilities safer, but prison reform is also going to be a key factor in making it all work for staff and offenders.

RELATED: DOC commissioner wants lawmakers to change how inmates are paroled

"It is education, it is more recreation and treatment," said Schnell.  "And, we need to get more work training and work skills done for inmates so they can better prepare for life when they are released."

The hiring of the new officers will start July 1 and continue on a graduated scale through the fiscal year of 2022 and then, Schnell said, the push will be back on to hire more after this biennium.

And, the top priorities for new hires, Schnell said, will be Oak Park Heights, Stillwater and Faribault prisons.

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Jay Kolls

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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