Pennsylvania convicts may be exported to Minnesota


The state of Pennsylvania's prison system is overflowing, and some of its convicts may be coming to Minnesota if a proposal submitted by the Minnesota Department of Corrections bears fruit.

DOC spokeswoman Sarah Berg said Monday that the proposal was made in response to overtures by Pennsylvania to a number of states, including California, Oklahoma, Nevada, Michigan and Minnesota.

The proposal calls for the convicts to be housed at the privately run, 1,600-bed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. The prison population there is dropping because inmates being housed under a contract with Washington state are slowly being moved out of the system, freeing up bed space, Berg said.

Minnesota's prison system is at capacity, Berg said. There are approximately 9,300 inmates incarcerated in the state's prison system right now.

Pennsylvania's system currently houses about 51,000 inmates, well over the state's 44,000 capacity.  

As submitted, the plan would be revenue neutral, and also save some jobs, Berg said.