MAPE leaders begin tour of state correctional facilities and treatment centers across state
Recent lockdown at Stillwater Prison highlights staffing issues, MAPE leaders continue touring state correctional facilities and treatment centers across state
Despite a weekend lockdown at Stillwater Prison in Bayport after 100 incarcerated persons took over a common area to highlight staffing issues, Department of Corrections (DOC) management continue to ignore MAPE members’ demands for better worker safety through increased security and staffing levels at correctional facilities across the state.
In the face of a concerning rise in assaults against staff in Minnesota’s correctional facilities and state treatment centers, MAPE leadership is taking direct action by personally touring these high-risk environments. MAPE leaders aim to elevate the urgent concerns of members who confront dangerous conditions every day.
President Megan Dayton and Vice President Angela Halseth have already conducted in-depth tours of the Stillwater and Rush City facilities and have plans to visit the Moose Lake facility and the Minnesota Sex Offenders Program (MSOP) later this month. This initiative underscores MAPE’s commitment to advocating for the safety and well-being of employees who put their lives on the line as part of their service to Minnesota.
“It’s essential that we witness firsthand the conditions our members are operating under, especially when their cries for help are not being adequately heard at the top levels of management. These are the men and women putting their lives at risk every day in the service of Minnesota. We are committed to amplifying their concerns and fighting tirelessly to ensure their safety and well-being. Our visits are more than fact-finding missions; they are a resounding statement that we will not let their struggles go ignored,” Dayton said.
Correctional facilities and treatment centers across the state are continually short-staffed, and safety has become a genuine concern. “We do more and more with less and less. We do this willingly, even when it costs us our health, our family relationships and our personal lives. This is our service to Minnesota. We do this knowing that we may not make it home one day,” Jennifer Johnson, clinical therapist with MSOP said.
Local 1703 President Shannon Marks, a probation and supervised release officer in the Mora field office, said safety is also an issue for her members at the Rush City prison. “It is always interesting to tour the prisons because each one is different and has different challenges. I was glad that President Dayton, Region 17 Director Mike Terhune and staff came out to tour the Rush City prison and then attended our local meeting to listen to our concerns.”