The Federal Bureau of Prisons has four facilities designated as Federal Prisons in Minnesota. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are roughly 3,000 inmates currently serving time at these locations.

Minnesota is part of the North Central Region which also includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.

If you have ever spent any time traveling along the St. Croix River in Minnesota chances are you've come across Oak Park Heights. There are breathtaking views along the river that come with a variety of fun sites to take in and activities for everyone.

Oak Park Heights is also the location of Minnesota's only level-5 maximum security prison. Located near the towns of Bayport and Stillwater. It was built in 1981 and opened the next year. Minnesota's most dangerous inmates are in this facility. They also can house various federal offenders. As of September 2023, there have been no successful escapes.

Oak Park Heights is where convicted police officer Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd was housed before being transferred to Tucson, Arizona.

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Oak Park Heights operates at the highest custody level of any facility in the Minnesota DOC system. Most individuals housed in the facility are designated at either maximum or close custody levels. There are nearly 300 inmates at Oak Park Heights.

Oak Park Heights is a Level 5 facility. That means it is an Administrative Security Prison, a designation for facilities with special missions, for instance, housing dangerous, violent, and escape prone offenders.



Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Duluth-Prison Camp for male offenders-507 prisoners

The Federal Prison Camp, Duluth is a minimum-security federal prison for male offenders.

The former Duluth Air Force Base property is designed with barrack-like housing with two levels that have 4-6 inmates per room.

Did you ever watch the Breaking Bad TV series on AMC? The main character is based on Duluth's prisoner Walter Jack White.

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Sandstone - 1,201 prisoners

The Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone is a low-security United States federal prison for male offenders in Sandstone, Minnesota.

Comedian/actor Tim Allen served time in Sandstone for a drug possession conviction carrying 1.4 pounds of cocaine in 1979. Allen served two years and four months in Sandstone.

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Waseca - 725 inmates

Minnesota's only female federal prison facility is in Waseca where low-security female offenders are housed.

The girlfriend of James "Whitey" Bulger Catherine Greig was an inmate in Waseca. According to the Mankato Free Press, Greig pleaded guilty to harboring a fugitive and identity fraud and was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. It was one of the longest sentences ever imposed for a harboring charge.

Grieg was released in 2020.

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Rochester - 554 incarcerated

The Federal Medical Center in Rochester is for male inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. It is designated as an administrative facility, which means it holds inmates of all security classifications.

What's life like in a Minnesota Federal Prison?

Besides getting three meals a day while in prison, inmates can purchase just about anything at the Prison Commissary.

Toilet paper will cost you $1.15 per roll. A legal pad is $1.55. Sunglasses will set you back $26.00.

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