Saint Cloud Reformatory, 2305 Minnesota Boulevard, Saint Cloud, Minnesota

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Saint Cloud State Refomatory for Men

Address: 2305 Minnesota Boulevard
City/locality-
State/province
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Stearns County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1889
Historic Function: Correctional Facility

Saint Cloud Stearns County

The St. Cloud State Reformatory was established by the legislature in 1887 as a correctional institution for first offenders between the ages of 16 and 30. The reformatory opened in 1889 with the transfer of 77 inmates from the state prison at Stillwater. It was located on 240 acres in St. Cloud to take advantage of the labor opportunities provided by the granite quarries of that area. After the turn of the century, numerous vocational departments were created, including construction, clothing manufacturing, shoe manufacturing, printing, greenhouse, and farming. The reformatory’s farm operated from 1923 to 1956. Inmates at the reformatory’s prison camps at East Grand Forks and Moose Lake also did farm work from 1943 to 1958. Logging was done at a third prison camp at Walker from 1943 to 1958. In July of 1945 the Annex for Defective Delinquents was opened at the reformatory. It was to be used for the custody of mentally handicapped adults for whom the state had no adequate housing. Initially, individuals were transferred there from the (then) State School for the Feeble Minded at Faribault and the State School at Owatonna. Begun as a two-year temporary measure in 1945 (Laws 1945 c565), this program was renewed every two years by the legislature through 1961. The annex was closed in 1963 (Laws 1963 c214). In 1948, the newly created Youth Conservation Commission located its reception center at the reformatory (Laws 1947 c595). The center was used for physical and psychological testing of those committed to the custody of the commission by the courts. It was moved to Lino Lakes in 1963.

The upper age limit of those admitted to the reformatory has changed numerous times. Most recently (1973), the limit was lowered from 24 to 21. Since 1979 the institution’s name has been Minnesota Correctional Facility--St. Cloud.

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