On 100th Anniversary, a Rare Look Inside Stillwater Prison

Updated: 05/02/2014 7:21 PM KSTP.com By: Tom Durian

Friends and Family of workers at Stillwater Prison, celebrated 100 years of the facility serving the state of Minnesota. They took part in an open house at the facility that currently houses 1,638 offenders with felony convictions.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was invited along for a rare look inside the prison. While inside, our cameras caught everything you may or may not expect inside the walls. From a commissary, to library to a health clinic and workout facilities, the largest prison in the state is like its own contained city.

However, time is taking its toll on the aging building. "The maintenance, the plumbing, the electricity all of those things are old and need to be redone," Warden Michelle Smith said. Slowly but surely they are being taken care of.

With its Victorian exterior and brick facade, the facility is a far cry from a modern day prison. Associate Warden Mary McComb calls it "cool" and a "much nicer environment" than newer facilities.

The Prison staff is proud of their education services and skills programs offered to offenders.

"Most of our offenders are going to be released at some point and they’re here for a certain period of time or stay. They need to have the ability to make better choices. We hope that the things that we do for them here, are giving them options for those better choices," Smith said.