ST. CLOUD -- A local State Representative will be touring the St. Cloud prison today. Democrat Dan Wolgamott is the Vice Chair of the House Corrections Division. He says besides meeting with the new warden, he also wants to hear from staff and the prisoners.

During the last legislative session, a bill was passed that will help pay for an additional 67 new officers statewide next year, with 10 more positions the following year.

We've been really understaffed and that's causing huge problems.  Obviously, we want to make sure there are enough correctional officers there to keep everyone safe.  We heard stories of officers who have been working for 20 to 30 years getting forced to coming in and doing overtime.

Wolgamott says the legislation also reestablished the Ombudsman position, which will work as an independent third party to resolve conflicts between the officers and prisoners.

Rather than resorting to violence or other intents, or unsafe methods of resolving problems, now there's a third party independent person to communicate on behalf of the officers and the offenders and make our correctional facilities a more safe place.

Last year two correctional officers were killed in the line of duty in Minnesota.

Wolgamott will tour the prison Tuesday with the Chair of the House committee Representative Jack Considine of Mankato.

The Minnesota Correctional Facility here in St. Cloud serves as the intake facility for the state.

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