According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) has agreed to negotiate with a group of inmates at Rush City prison after more than 100 offenders staged a work strike last week to protest what they are calling “abusive” conditions.

The inmates are upset by a recent slowdown in delivery from the commissary, where inmates can purchase basic toiletries, snacks, and other goods, as well as what they view as "mistreatment by corrections officers". According to the Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, last week, Rush City officials notified prisoners of a sudden policy change under which necessities from canteen would be delivered two weeks after they’re ordered, rather than one.

On Friday, November 30, 115 inmates inside the Rush City Correctional Facility went on strike. The inmates, who work at the Anagram balloon factory inside the prison, stopped work for a day to demand that the prison administration come to the negotiating table around delays in canteen distribution and lack of accountability for abusive correctional officers.

The Star Tribune reports that DOC spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald confirmed that several inmates didn’t report to work assignments that day, while others purposely slowed production “in an effort to raise concerns they had with facility operations.” She said most inmates did perform their work assignments without incident.

Fitzgerald told the Star Tribune that normal programming has resumed at the facility.

Rush City is a high-security prison located an hour northeast of Minneapolis that houses nearly 1,000 male offenders. Almost one-third of inmates are serving time for homicide convictions.

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