Updated: 07/15/2014 6:31 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 4:37 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
"If anything is going to work, it's going to be believing people can change in what we call community connections," NERCC Superintendent Kathy Trihey said.
That's the mentality behind the Northeast Regional Corrections Center. Three offenders walked away from the facility last week and one is still at large.
Trihey said they think they left during recreation time. Corrections staff members supervise, but there were about 90 offenders for them to watch.
"These three men had a plan to take off," Trihey said. "They can just walk away."
The men at NERCC are described as non-violent criminals. Most of them are serving for probation violations, drug and alcohol crimes, criminal sexual conduct or burglary.
The facility is an old farm in Saginaw about seven miles from Highway 53. This makes it difficult for offenders to get far.
Trihey said last year six offenders walked away from NERCC. She said some years more offenders leave and sometimes no one leaves. If an offender does walk away, they go back into custody.
"They end up back in the jail," Trihey said. "Generally speaking, we do not take them back."
Trihey said almost 85 percent of NERCC offenders don't commit another felony crime within three years. That compares to 63 percent in statewide prisons.
NERCC said they notified the Saint Louis County Sheriff's Office immediately after the escape, but they did not alert the public.
The Sheriff's Office said they sometimes send a press release on NERCC offenders who leave, but did not initially in this case.
Jeff Musial and Sid the Sloth 'Hang Out' in Duluth
"The Animal Guy" Jeff Musial and his baby, two-toed sloth Sid stopped by our Eyewitness News studio today before a community outreach program at St. Scholastica tonight.
Hennepin Co. Prosecutor Files Petition to Protect Adrian Peterson's Son
The Minnesota Vikings star running back was charged with a felony in Texas for using a wooden switch to spank his son while he was visiting Peterson's home in May. Peterson said he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy.
Gordon Fire Hall: Rising from the Ashes
The Gordon Fire Hall has been rebuilt, after a fire destroyed the building and six trucks. And the community celebrated Friday, one year after that fire.
29 Interested in Growing Minnesota Medical Pot
The Minnesota Department of Health says it has received 29 letters of intent from people interested in growing medical marijuana under the state's new program.
Balloon Festival Underway in Bayfront Park
If the weather cooperates, something that hasn't happened for more than a century in Duluth could happen this weekend. If not, visitors to "Le Festival des Montgolfieres a Duluth" will still be able to enjoy numerous free family activities.