Minnesota Department of Corrections: Two State Prisons to Close Due to ‘Budget Crisis’

TOGO, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Corrections announced on Monday that it plans to close prison facilities in Togo and Willow River due to a “substantial budget crisis.”

The Minnesota DOC says it is closing the state’s two smallest prisons as it is facing a $14 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

The combined budget for the Togo and Willow River facilities is approximately $11 million.

The DOC says it also plans to reduce commissioner’s office personnel and central administrative services, and renegotiate the purchase of service contracts to balance the budget.

The total DOC budget for the current fiscal year is about $611 million.

“While the actions we announced today are immensely difficult, Minnesotans rightly expect that we be responsible stewards of public resources as we fulfill the agency’s mission,” said DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell.

The DOC says most of the roughly 48 full-time positions at Togo and 51 full-time positions at Willow River will be eliminated, however, some of the positions will be retained to continue the Challenge Incarceration Program at other prison sites.

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