Inmates Occupy Rochester Jail

From Daybreak 5

On September 5th, 72 inmates in the main housing unit of Olmsted County jail were told that more inmates were being brought in, creating a need for double bunking. Inmates were told that they only be let out of their cells in two groups in 90 minute shifts. Inmates were ordered to return to their cells so authorities could complete the changes. About 30 of the inmates refused to return to their cells. The three guards tried to control what was now an uprising but fled when their realized they were unable to do so leaving prisoners in control of the complex for more than seven hours. Inmates broke tables, smashed vending machines and damaged an electronic door in the common area causing $50,000 in damages. Power and water were cut off to that portion of the jail and the SWAT team moved in when only a handful of the objectors were still in the common area. There are no reports available for how brutal the repression was after the uprising.

The number of people incarcerated in Minnesota’s county jails has more than doubled since 1980 and is still growing at more than 10% a year. Severe overcrowding brought by harsh sentencing and sentence stacking (making a prisoner serve 3 one year sentences instead of 1 three year sentence) is allowing county bureaucrats to install harsh and stressful living arrangements. They are currently exploring the option of imprisoning people in Wisconsin.