Minn. corrections hope for bonding money

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St. Cloud prison
The St. Cloud prison sits on the south side of town. The state Department of Corrections is seeking a new $31 million intake and health care center. The projects is in Gov. Mark Dayton's bonding proposal, but not in one released by the House.
MPR Photo/Conrad Wilson

The Department of Corrections hopes to update facilities with funding from state bonding proposals released this week.

Gov. Mark Dayton's $750 million bonding proposal announced Monday would fund more than $50 million in new projects and maintenance that corrections officials say are critical.

Dayton's proposal includes funding for a $5 million fence for the Shakopee women's prison, $31 million for a new health care and intake center at the St. Cloud prison and $10 million for maintenance projects.

Terry Carlson, the deputy commissioner of the facilities division for the agency, said all male offenders enter the state's corrections system through St. Cloud.

"The spaces that we have aren't adequate to meet our needs and create some security concerns for us," Carlson said. "We need to insure that our staff is safe. We need to insure that we provide public safety through making sure that people don't escape and that inmates are housed safely and processed safely into our facilities."

By contrast, the House's $800 million bonding proposal released Tuesday would provide the agency with $3 million for maintenance.

In last year's bonding bill, the Department of Corrections received $9 million for maintenance and other projects. The project at the St. Cloud prison was also included in the governor's bonding proposal last year.

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