'Joseph Gomm Bill' would hire hundreds of new corrections officers in Minnesota prisons

December 16, 2018 10:15 PM

A state lawmaker told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he wants to "honor the memory and sacrifice" of slain Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater officer Joseph Gomm and improve safety for officers and inmates at the same time.

Rep. Jack Considine, DFL-Mankato, told KSTP he will introduce the "Joseph Gomm Bill" during the first week or two of the next Minnesota legislative session, which starts in early January.

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"I think it is important to give solace to his family," Considine said. "And, I think it is important to let his family know their son and brother did not die in vain and at the same time provide adequate staffing for all Minnesota prisons."

Considine said corrections officers, along with union leaders representing those officers, worked on a detailed plan for the past several months to determine exactly how many new corrections officers are needed to upgrade staffing.

"They went from institution to institution, post by post, developing a rationale for the positions and they have come up with 328 additional officers needed," Considine said.


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The Mankato representative said there is no fiscal note attached to his bill, but when it is introduced next month those numbers will be included.

"Right now, we are still putting the final touches on the bill and the spending part, including benefits, is still being worked on," Considine said. "But, the plan right now would be to phase in the 328 jobs over the next four years with 150 of those jobs coming in the first year."

Gomm died last July and a Stillwater prison inmate has been charged with killing him.

Two months after Gomm's death, Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility officer Joe Parisen died of a heart attack shortly after helping another officer who was under assault by an inmate.

Gomm was the first Minnesota corrections officer to die in the line of duty.

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Jay Kolls

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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