Wanted: A fence around a prison

The big projects get all the ink and attention when a governor releases a bonding bill , but there are smaller projects which pique interest, too.

Gov. Dayton issued his bonding recommendations today, included therein was a fence for the Shakopee women’s prison. It was built in the 1980s without a fence. The governor is seeking over $5 million for a fence. He says the population has increased six-fold. Not having a fence has also made Minnesota the butt of a few jokes. (may not be suitable for the workplace)

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More seriously, Shakopee Patch describes a good reason for a fence: To keep people out:

“We have more males than females intruding,” said Calvin Miller, associate warden of administration. “We had some recently pull up in a car calling an inmate’s name. We don’t know if that was for an escape.”

One man recently walked onto the prison grounds waving a cane designed for the blind. When staff approached, he dropped the cane and took off running. One inmate thought she saw her ex-boyfriend’s car driving and feared he was coming to kill her. Staff have found drugs and alcohol stashed on the grounds, presumably left for offenders, and they say their big fear is their ability to stash weapons.

“Many of these women have been in volatile relationships with people who are on the spooky side and may not be overly stable,” Beltz said. “I can’t harp on this enough –not having a fence is a safety issue for our staff, offenders and the public.”

By the way, whatever happened to Bo Dietl, the over-the-top “security expert” featured in the comedy bit? Three years after this 2006 Daily Show episode, the New York Post reported he was one of the corrupt cops in New York who tipped off members of the Gambino crime family.

When WikiLeaks distributed classified information in 2010, Dietl called for the assassination of its founder, Julian Assange.

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