Guy Bosch

Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell (right) administers the oath of office to Stillwater Warden Guy Bosch (left).

The Stillwater prison has a new leader at its helm.

Guy Bosch began his duties as warden of the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater July 1. On Aug. 19, he was officially sworn in to the new role in a special installation ceremony— a new tradition for the Department of Corrections (DOC).

Bosch comes to Stillwater's correctional facility from that of Shakopee, where he most recently served as associate warden of operations. He began his career with Minnesota's DOC three decades ago, initially starting as a corrections officer at the St. Cloud facility.

The new role places Bosch at the head of Minnesota's largest maximum-security prison—the Stillwater facility houses 1,600 inmates in seven different living areas. It is also one of several Minnesota prisons that will change leadership this year. In June, the corrections department announced that it would shift warden assignments at seven of the state's 10 correctional facilities in an effort to bring in new perspectives and skillsets.

“As we move forward under new leadership in the Department of Corrections, I feel it is important to make changes in facility leadership as well,” Nate Knutson, assistant commissioner, wrote in an internal memo to agency staff in June. “I believe by making these moves, we will provide the facilities division of the Department of Corrections with a change in perspective at all levels.”

The Stillwater facility has come under the spotlight in the last year, following the death of corrections officer Joseph Gomm, who was stabbed to death by an inmate last July. According to data from the Department of Corrections, between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 there were 156 discipline convictions for assaults on prison staff, with the most assaults occurring at the Stillwater prison, which has reported 47 discipline convictions in 2019.

“Working in corrections is no easy job,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell, told the crowd at Bosch's installation ceremony. “The field of corrections exposes those who work in it to profound sadness, examples of incredible human failing and tragedy, and at the same time reminds us of the potential for change and the possibility of transformation.”

Bosch said that he is “profoundly humbled by the appointment and thankful to the dedicated DOC staff who have supported, encouraged and mentored me.”

As the 20th warden of the Stillwater facility, Bosch promised to prioritize the safety of both staff and inmates.

“You have my commitment to operate a safe and secure facility,” Bosch said. “That commitment is priority number one.”

Elizabeth Callen can be reached at 651-407-1229 or lowdownnews@presspubs.com.

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