I wonder where the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota got its name? That is where Vince is now ensconced: St. Cloud State Correctional Facility (SCF). It’s about 2 hours’ drive northwest of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
I love statistics so I felt a small thrill when I discovered the Daily Inmate Profile Report which, as its name implies, changes daily but probably not dramatically. The prison was built in 1898 on the site of an old granite quarry.
On the day I looked, a “total of 1,098 adult offenders are under the Case Responsibility of Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud with a total of 1,026 adult offenders currently on-site at this facility.” Wow! I had no idea. Before he derailed, Vince had lived in a little town outside Rochester, called Fountain, which had a population of 410 people. SCF must feel like a big city to him. And it is only one of 10 correctional facilities in the state. And that doesn’t include jails or workhouses.
Eighty-five percent of the prisoners are between the ages of 18 and 45. That’s a lot of testosterone; I wonder if the drop off in the older population groups is related to men’s lower testosterone levels as they age.
Three hundred and seventeen are in for drug offenses, and the average sentence is 39 months (Vince got 50 months). The next category is domestic assault (232 inmates, serving an average of 23 months). Then there’s just regular assault, with 194 inmates serving an average sentence of 37 months. I’m betting a lot of that was fueled by drugs and alcohol—not an excuse, a contributing factor. Then there are 52 guys in there for drunk driving, obviously involving alcohol, serving an average of 51 months. I’m guessing most of them must have committed multiple offenses.
Fifty-three percent of the inmates are white, compared with 85.5% of Minnesotans as a whole. Thirty-two percent are black and 11 percent are Native, compared with 5 and 1 percent overall in the state. Oh, those Asians, living up to their reputation of model minority! Three percent of those locked up and 4 percent of Minnesota’s population. Latinos aren’t separated out but there’s a note that 59 prisoners counted in the groups above are Hispanic.
I scanned the religion column and saw that 52% were Christian, 7% Native, 3% Muslim, and a whopping 28% had no preference. Oh, and there was one Jew.
And oh, damn, there were my 20-year-old fears confirmed in black and white. Forty percent of the inmates had no high school diploma, compared with only 9 percent of Minnesotans overall.