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Old 01-26-2006, 01:57 PM
Glarnet Glarnet is offline
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Default BOP changed me to Sandstone MN Any Info out there?

The BOP in all of thier infinite wisdom changed me from what the judge recomended, Duluth FPC, to Sandstone FCI. Apparently Duluth doesn't have a drug program and Sandstone does. Anyone out there have any info ( I have tried the BOP site and that only tells you the address) on the day to day activities and what I am walking into? I was almost looking forward to going to the Duluth FPC, I heard the camps are a lot more lax and you can at least watch tv and go outside. I got 30 months to do and self surrender on March 10th.

Tommy G.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:15 PM
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DaveMoff DaveMoff is offline
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Please do not take any of the following as gospel, as it's been some years, however....

Until 1994, I lived not far from Sandstone and often visited the area. I visited the prison twice, both times with groups who went there for "social activities"--basically to play volleyball, cards, or what have you with some of the prisoners. They all seemed like a pretty decent bunch of guys, actually, and grateful for the company. Obviously we didn't see things from the prisoners' point of view, and I don't recall anyone commenting on their personal situations or the prison itself.

My understanding is that within the prison there are several levels of security with different living quarters and privileges (the guys I met were all minimum security if I recall correctly). It is located in a rather rugged and heavily wooded area--when I lived in the area, prisoners would escape via various means and as a rule gave themselves up after a relatively short time after fighting the brush and mosquitoes (the same, conversely, is true of the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, which is actually some distance from the city). I believe that at least some of the prisoners have "outside work assignments" of various kinds.

My father was an attorney and represented at least one Sandstone inmate on one occasion. He referred to the prison as a place for "smart criminals" and said that the population is mainly "white collar" offenders. A friend who did some construction work there told me that some violent offenders are there also but in a separate area within the prison complex.

Anyway, I hope that will be of some help at least. I don't know enough about the facility in Duluth to make a comparison, sorry.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:47 PM
April07 April07 is offline
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Dave, pretty much what you said is correct, except for the levels of inmates. Sandstone is a "low"... meaning that it's mostly non-violent offenders. There are some who have had higher levels and have earned enough points through good behavior to move down. My husband has been there about 10 months, and during that time there hasn't been any violence or attempted escapes. They got locked down for less than 24 hours once when the inmates went on "food strike", but that's about the extent of any excitement. Rumor was that Sammy the Bull was there at one time, but no one has confirmed it. Some of the inmates do get "gate passes" to work outside the fence on the grounds, but they have to be there long enough to earn the cop's trust. There is a new (as of October) warden, and the COs change jobs about every 90 days. So far, I haven't met any that I don't like during visits. I imagine there are a few - but then who likes everyone they meet?

It is a rugged area - kind of pretty in the summer actually - with St. Croix State Park and Banning State Park surrounding it, and the Kettle River running along side. I think I saw a post on here once about "For Sale - Prison in State Park". That pretty much sums it up Last time I visited, I had to stop on the road out for a minute or two while a deer just kind of meandered his way across the road. I don't need venison using a rental car as the weapon of choice. I even saw a bear once in St. Croix State Park. I drive around a lot when I am up there - I figure that I have to make the best of it. A bit of advice though - It's COLD at Lake Superior in January

There are several places for visitors to stay around there - Hinckley is about 12 miles away, with a casino and pretty good restaurants. I usually stay a little north of there - in a quieter area. Anyone needing information on where to stay, let me know. You can fly into Minneapolis and drive about an hour and a half, or Duluth and drive about an hour and 15 minutes - it's right off of I-35.

For the most part, I think everyone just pretty much keeps to themselves and no one really asks or cares about the why of anyone being there - they are just there to do their time and move on with life.

I don't know anything about Duluth FPC, so I can't do any comparison either - but I can find out about anything anyone needs to know about Sandstone. There are a few of us Sandstone family members now of PTO - and I know I can speak for myself and at least one other - we're here to help you adjust!
Faith is not believing that God can...
it is KNOWING that God will!
- Ben Stein
Club Fed Wifey #21
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:53 PM
deb7588 deb7588 is offline
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I understand how frustrated you must be feeling. My husband was also first designated to Duluth FPC and the two weeks later got re designated to Sandstone. He was pretty upset about it, because he had done a lot of research on Duluth and was thinking he was headed to a camp. He surrendered in Oct. and it took him some time to adjust, but he has settled in. April07 pretty much summed up the kind of inmates in there. There are a lot in for drugs and non violent crime, and white collar crimes. My husband has experienced some smack talk, but people pretty much keep to themselves.

As for daily routine. When you get there, you will probably be in the SHU (Secure Holding Unit) for two weeks before you get moved into your unit. When you get on the unit you will spend quite some time in a bunk area before you are assigned to a cube with one other bunkie. Also when you get on the unit you will have a couple weeks to find a job. My husband started on electrical crew and then moved to the library. On your down time there is a rec yard where you can lift weights or use the track. Inside there is a gym where basketball is played a lot, with a balcony where board games and cards are played. On the unit there is a couple TV rooms and I know they show pretty recent movies on Friday nights.

That is pretty much all I can think of for now. My husband says he is just trying to get into a routine to try and make the time pass by as fast as possible. If you have any other questions, please ask away.

Oh, as for the staff, they don't treat the inmates like human beings, but they seem to be kind enough to visitors. I haven't had any problems every time I have been there. I think if you keep to yourself and don't make waves, you will be fine. Enjoy every moment you have until you leave. Deb

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Old 03-11-2006, 09:44 PM
mrshubby01 mrshubby01 is offline
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My husband was to go to Duluth FPC or Rochester and they sent him to Florence FCI, in Colorado, this is a white collar crime not drugs not murder but they can do what they want (the feds) of course.. You all should feel pretty lucky!! I live 15 minutes from sandstone!! and but If I want to see my husband I have to fly and stay in a hotel and I just can't afford that!! Im just venting!! SORRY
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