The prison treatment trap for release violators

a bunk bed with striped linen behind bars
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Did you know that they treat people with sex cases in prison like they’re not even human most of the time? They view us as the worst of society that they are protecting the public from—to scare people. But we’re not the ones doing all the crime. The prison system is continually making money off our misery.

In prison, people with sex cases are often at risk for violence and extortion, both of which often go unresolved even when they are reported. We are also the most likely to be sent back to prison as a “release violator.” 

That means being sent back to prison on a non-crime, which is a condition of supervision like missing an appointment, testing positive for marijuana, having a cell phone, getting in an argument with someone at treatment or with one’s agent, etc. 

The sad fact is we have one of the lowest rates of recommitting a crime in Minnesota, roughly 3%, yet we get supervised like we’re worse than murderers, who also have a really low recidivism rate.

So how does the treatment trap work? There is a treatment at Lino Lakes for people who have committed sex crimes. If you are a release violator, though, they basically put you on the back burner for completion of that treatment.

Even though you are only supposed to be re-incarcerated for between 30 and 364 days for whatever minor non-criminal error you made in the community, they don’t give you a set release date. They say you have to complete treatment first, which can take from three to five years even without staffing shortages and lockdown days.

In fact, they push out everyone with a set release date first because they figure we have a lot of time so they can hold us longer and therefore keep getting funding for our extended stay here. It’s a joke. 

And if you get kicked out of treatment for any reason, it’s hell getting back in. They often slow up the process drastically to make sure you stay as long as possible. Or you have to go to treatment at Rush City where it’s very violent and dangerous, and they do all the same things there, too.

I was given 364 days for a simple violation, yet I’ve been here now for over two years, with no clear end in sight. So the treatment at Lino Lakes is a very for-profit program. They also say the program here is unregulated so they are allowed to be all-powerful in how they make decisions. 

Yes, I have learned a few good tools while being here, but I could have learned the same thing out there in the free world, with a job and being able to support myself and my family.

I have a letter from a treatment program in the community that they’d take me, yet they want me here. I was given a mandate to complete this program a long time ago, and every time I went to a hearing I was pushed back. This is my second time in this trap. 

It feels almost like the Department of Corrections Hearing Release Unit and the treatment staff here at Lino Lakes have an understanding when it comes to people completing this program. They have an understanding, so we are stuck. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of us in this treatment trap. This is a gross misuse of public trust and public money.

We are not monsters. We deserve a release date that fits with our violation. We need a way back to contribute and have a life, not a trap that keeps us and our loved ones in despair.

Lamart Coleman #144738

7525 Fourth Ave, Lino Lakes

MN 55014

One Comment on “The prison treatment trap for release violators”

  1. Baloney, sex crime perpetrators only recommit that crime 3% of the time. You forgot to mention that most of them commit 150 such crimes before being successfully prosecuted. Quit lying to people.

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