Yesterday (Thursday, May 26th), a new housing unit was announced to be present at the North Dakota State Penitentiary. The news came in a press release from the NDDOCR (North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation).  

The Initiative

The press release indicated this is a joint effort with the MILPA Collective initiative. MILPA stands for “Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement,” which is part of its “Restoring Promise,” initiative. 

According to the MILPA website, the organization is led by formerly incarcerated individuals and works on cultural healing, love, and advocacy for incarcerated citizens.  

A Restorative Environment

This new unit will house individuals aged 18 to 25. The NDDOCR explains this will be a restorative environment for these young adults.  

In the press release, the Director of the DOCR was quoted on why they have made this change to the facility.  

"Providing a restorative environment for incarcerated individuals translates to healthy and productive neighbors and a safer North Dakota... When we offer support and help connect residents to their families and loved ones, formally incarcerated people are more likely to thrive when they return home,” said Dave Krabbenhoft 

 Mentoring & Guidance to Incarcerated Citizens

The press release also indicated that individuals in this housing unit will also be taught problem-solving, job readiness skills, and financial literacy. This is an effort to help them successfully transition back into their communities. Corrections staff, mentors, and other volunteers will be teaching/providing this guidance.  

.The Deputy Director of MILPA was also quoted in the release. He said this is the beginning of a big shift in corrections.  

“North Dakota is ushering in a new era in which incarcerated people are treated with respect, have access to resources, and live in restorative spaces,” said John Pineda. 



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