Minnesota State Jails
Minnesota, located in the western part of the north-central United States of America, shares its northern borders with Ontario and Manitoba of the Canada, its eastern border with Wisconsin and Michigan, its southern border with Iowa, and its western border with North Dakota and South Dakota.
Throughout Minnesota's 87 counties there are 80 jail facilities with a combined rated capacity of 8,806 inmates. The Department of Corrections inspects jails and enforces standards compliance. (2007)
Counties supervise probation and parole in both participating and non-participating State Community Corrections Act counties. In non-participating counties, the Department of Corrections supervises felons. There are 127,627 probationers and 5,081 on "supervised release".
Population in Jail:
The crime rate in Minnesota is about 15% lower than the national average rate. Property crimes account for around 91.6% of the crime rate in Minnesota which is 11% lower than the national rate. The remaining 7.2% are violent crimes and are about 42% lower than other states.
Minnesota has a rate 57% lower than the national average of incarcerated adults per 100,000, whilst their number of probationers per 100,000 people is 42% higher than the national average.
Minnesota's national average number of parolees per 100,000 people is 60% lower than the average. In 2009 taxpayers paid more than 12% above ($32,573) the national average to house an inmate in a jail facility for a year than the state average.
Minnesota became the first state in the US in the early 1990's to use Restorative Justice (R.J), they established a full time R.J planner within the Department of Corrections. Today each Minnesota correctional facility has a restorative justice representative and RJ committee of staff and offenders working together.
In the existing criminal justice system, offenders may play a passive role and not be held accountable to right the wrong they have committed. However in the R.J framework offenders become active participants in reparation efforts. Offenders are held directly accountable to victims and are confronted with the personal impact of their crime; R.J requires them to make amends to the victim and community in whatever way possible.
There are a number of options available for communication between victims and offenders incarcerated including; Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) a process in which the victim of a severe crime requests to meet with the offender in a safe and structured setting. Another option is Victims, Offenders and Community a Restorative Experience (VOCARE) victims and offenders and community members meet in a circle process to talk about the causes and consequences of crime.
Minnesota has a national reputation for operating secure, humane correctional institutions that have low levels of violence and are safe for inmates and staff. Inmate populations have been increasing substantially during the last decade, and prison crowding is plaguing most states. Minnesota has been able to manage its increasing population through expansion at existing facilities and construction of a new facility that opened in 2000.
Minnesota has had relatively low levels of violent crime for many years. Minnesota’s low rate of incarceration is reflected in the correctional system’s heavy reliance on local alternatives to prison for less serious offenders. The system is designed to reserve expensive prison space for only those criminals who are dangerous and need to be incarcerated.
All of the department’s correctional institutions meet standards established by the American Correctional Association (ACA). The standards relate to all aspects of institutional operation. The department’s central office, adult and juvenile release functions, and adult and juvenile field services also meet ACA standards.