Minnesota correctional facilities give fully vaccinated prisoners ‘perks’

An email to employees of the St. Cloud prison states that certain "perks" will be available for prisoners who get their COVID shots, including extended visiting options, barbershop passes, and going to the library.

Poster promoting the vaccine at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault.

Incarcerated people at Minnesota correctional facilities are being offered incentives for receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The correctional facility in Faribault was the first to incentivize the vaccine for prisoners; the St. Cloud, Red Wing, and Shakopee facilities are next, according to communications sent by the Minnesota Department of Corrections to its staff.

Email from Minnesota Department of Corrections

An email to employees of the St. Cloud prison states that certain “perks” will be available for prisoners who get their COVID shots and show proof of vaccination.

Some of these incentives include extended visiting options, barbershop passes, going to the library, and getting a job, among other benefits, reads the email to staff obtained by Alpha News.

Vaccinated prisoners at Faribault are being given extra recreational opportunities, like playing basketball and softball, according to a poster promoting the vaccine at Faribault. Extra food is also an option for those who are fully vaccinated.

A machine stamps prisoners’ ID badges when they receive the vaccine as proof that they qualify for the perks advertised by the prison. While the ID badge stamp is not required, the Department of Corrections states, prisoners who choose not to get the stamp may be “limited” in activities and forced to quarantine in certain situations until their vaccination status can be verified.

A source told Alpha News that the St. Cloud prison has enforced extreme COVID-19 regulations, with education and religious services being suspended for a year in the prime of COVID.

Prisoners at St. Cloud were required to eat meals in their cells for over a year and can go to the dining center only as of July 30, the source told Alpha News.