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A: The offender who escaped was level three, the same as our facility at Lino Lakes, which has a razor-topped fence. This is the only facility in the country that houses medium-level security offenders and above with no fence.
Q: Neighbors have always said they were promised that no Soviet-style gulag would ever appear in their midst, and in fact visually the current facility reminds a lot of casual passers-by of a middle school. You’ve promised a stylish, Ivy League-style wall that’s in keeping with its surroundings. Does that offer the same security?
A: What it offers is a delay. It would be quite difficult to climb the fence we propose. Quite likely an offender won’t even attempt to run.
Q: Have there been meaningful changes in your circumstances since any initial promises to neighbors were made?
A: Shakopee was built in 1986, and built amid severe budget constraints. We then had 90 offenders. I believe we’re at about 550 right now [having been as high as 644 last April]. Less than 100 was a size of group that was a lot easier keep track of than what we have today.
David Peterson • 952-746-3285