Thumbs up to the bipartisan support in the Minnesota Legislature for $70 million in upgrades to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.
The facility has been plagued with employee injuries as violent inmates catch employees in vulnerable situations, resulting in severe injuries and hospitalizations.
The proposal will be part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s $1.4 billion bonding proposal to the Legislature this year. The request would upgrade and remodel part of the Security Hospital where mentally ill and dangerous inmates are housed.
Many of the injuries to staff have occurred where the building itself has inadequate sight lines for safety and other safety measures.
Rep. Clark Johnson, DFL-North Mankato; Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, and Rep. Jack Considine, DFL-Mankato, have offered the bill in their respective houses. Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, also supports the plan. Cornish wants the institution to change some of its methods for handling the violent inmates.
Last year between May and July, there were nine incidents at the hospital where employees could have faced serious or fatal injuries. The facility was fined $63,000 in December for workplace safety violations.
Nearly everyone agrees the changes for safety and security are needed. Let’s hope they get done before more employees are injured.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE MANKATO FREE PRESS