Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud

Coordinates: 45°32′35″N 94°7′0″W / 45.54306°N 94.11667°W / 45.54306; -94.11667
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Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud
Main entrance of the Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud
LocationSt. Cloud, Minnesota, United States
Coordinates45°32′35″N 94°7′0″W / 45.54306°N 94.11667°W / 45.54306; -94.11667
Security classLevel 4–"Close Custody"
Population909 (as of January 16, 2024)
Managed byMinnesota Department of Corrections
WardenEddie Miles[1]
Street address2305 Minnesota Boulevard
CitySt. Cloud, Minnesota
CountySherburne County
ZIP Code56304
CountryUnited States
Minnesota State Reformatory for Men Historic District
Area65 acres (26 ha)
ArchitectJ. Walter Stevens, Clarence H. Johnston Sr.
Architectural styleTudor Revival, Romanesque Revival
NRHP reference No.86001671[2]
Added to NRHPJuly 17, 1986

Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud (MCF-St. Cloud) is a state prison in St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States. Established in 1889 as the Minnesota State Reformatory for Men, it is a level four, close-security institution with an inmate population of about 1,000 men.[3] MCF-St. Cloud serves as the intake facility for men committed to prison in Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Reformatory for Men Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 for its state-level significance in the themes of architecture and social history.[4] The listing comprises 23 contributing properties built 1887–1933 with granite quarried by inmates. The prison was nominated for its architectural cohesion and for its associations with prison reform and Minnesota's quarrying industry.[5]


The prison, originally named the Minnesota State Reformatory for Men, was Minnesota's third prison. The Minnesota Territorial Prison was established in Stillwater in 1853. In 1867, a second institution, the House of Refuge, opened in Saint Paul to house young offenders. The House of Refuge was renamed to the Minnesota State Reform School in 1879, and it moved to Red Wing in 1890. Later, in 1895, it was renamed the Minnesota State Training School. The State Reformatory for Men was intended as an intermediate facility between the State Training School and the Territorial Prison. It was created as a reformatory for offenders between sixteen and thirty years old who were presumed salvageable from a life of crime.[6]

The first cell block, a four-story Romanesque Revival structure designed by J. Walter Stevens, was completed in 1889. A second cell block, also designed by Stevens, was built by inmates who quarried granite from an on-site quarry. In 1897, work was started on the Romanesque/Medieval-style Administration Building. The building was designed by Clarence H. Johnston Sr., who designed several other structures for state institutions. Due to several work stoppages, the Administration Building was not completed until 1920. The building, five stories tall, is built of granite and has a flat roof with octagonal corner towers.[6] The wall was built by prisoners brought over from the Stillwater prison and remains the second largest wall built by prisoners. The quarry that the stone came from is the oldest granite quarry in Minnesota.

Johnston designed other buildings at the Reformatory, including other cell blocks, the north and south dining halls, infirmary, power plant building, maintenance shops, guard towers, and some school and trade buildings. The most imposing structure is the perimeter wall, a 22-foot (6.7 m) high granite wall on the outside perimeter. Historian Denis Gardner writes, "[The granite barrier] all but shouted to those on the outside to be good citizens or else."[6]

License plate stamping was done here for many years until 2008 in which license plates were no longer stamped but printed and that process was brought to another prison. During the first decades the prison was built, upon release, it was standard to issue you a horse, saddle, rifle, and a gold piece.[citation needed]

Notable Inmates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Minnesota Correctional Facility - St Cloud". Minnesota Department of Corrections. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Daily Inmate Profile" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Corrections. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "State Reformatory for Men Historic District". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009.
  5. ^ Mack, Robert C.; Barbara E. Hightower (September 25, 1985). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Minnesota State Reformatory for Men Historic District. National Park Service. Retrieved January 17, 2022. With 25 accompanying photos from 1978 and 1985
  6. ^ a b c Gardner, Denis P. (2004). Minnesota Treasures: Stories Behind the State's Historic Places. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society. pp. 183–186. ISBN 0-87351-471-8.
  7. ^ "Details". coms.doc.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  8. ^ "Husband sentenced to life in prison in wife's 13-year cold case murder". ABC News. Retrieved June 22, 2023.

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