Former guard raises concerns about prison

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 23, 2018

STILLWATER — A former Stillwater correction officer, who resigned following a colleague’s death, said he’s concerned that the Department of Corrections is putting profit from its prison industry program above corrections officers’ safety.

According to a press release, Joe Miller is one of three officers who quit after Joseph Gomm was killed last week. Gomm was allegedly killed by an inmate in an industry building where inmates make products for public agencies and private companies.

The department argues that the program generates less than 1 percent of the agency’s budget. The department said Gomm is the first Minnesota corrections officer to die on duty.

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Miller said the prison hasn’t had enough staff, and buildings have numerous blind spots. He said he hopes changes in the department can prevent another loss.