Minnesota Close Custody Facility

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State of Minnesota
BWBR Architects
General Contractor
Rush City, Minnesota
330,000 sq. ft.

The Minnesota Close Custody Facility in Rush City was developed as part of a general expansion of the state’s prison system and was Minnesota’s first new all-male prison since 1981. It was also the state’s only Level 4 (close custody) facility, a security classification one step below maximum. That dictated every aspect of the facility’s design and appearance, from materials selection to layout to construction techniques.

The prison includes four housing complexes that can accommodate 950 inmates and surrounds a central support building devoted to activities which help prepare inmates for life on the outside.

By definition, a close custody facility requires that most operational mechanisms be buried within the walls of the steel and poured concrete structure, secure from access by inmates. The complex, in-wall installation of security and electrical systems meant there was no margin for error once the massive walls were in place.