Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights

MCF-Oak Park Heights is a Level 5 maximum-security state prison for male inmates that is located in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota. This facility opened in 1982, and can house up to 473 inmates. In addition to housing the state’s most dangerous inmates, Oak Park Heights also has a contract to house federal inmates with serious, violent histories.

Oak Park Heights is the highest custody level in the Minnesota DOC system. The majority of inmates housed here are maximum and close custody, as some of the inmates need a higher level of security. 

The facility contains a modern medical infirmary designed to handle 24-hour care for all adult males inmates in need of services from the Transitional Care Unit (TCU). Oak Park Heights also has a Mental Health Unit (MHU) designed to assist adult male inmates who have severe mental health needs.

Despite its security level, Oak Park Heights is considered to be one of the safest prisons in the United States. The prison has never had an escape, and only one homicide.

The prison sits on 160 acres and is connected by two corridors on separate levels. One of the corridors is used only for the staff, while the other is used primarily for offenders. 

The facility is securely fenced in, with a large courtyard and baseball field in the center. Inmate cells measure seven by ten feet, and they each contain a bed, table, toilet, and sink. The bed is a cement slab topped by a thin mattress, and the toilet and sink are made of steel, so they can't be broken. 

Each cell also has one tall and thin rectangular window. It is too narrow to escape through if the inmate could break the reinforced glass, and tests have proven it would take approximately twelve thousand hacksaw blades to cut through the steel bars of the prison. 

The prison is composed of nine self-sustaining living units, referred to as complexes. The first six complexes each house 52 offenders and include shower facilities and a common area used for recreation and meals. 

Inmates in these complexes range from those serving segregation time, to those who are in education toward a GED, or working full-time in the facility as cooks, janitors, painters, or workers in the institution's industry units. 

MCF-OPH includes the DOC’s Commissary program. Inmates who qualify for these work programs are employed to process and package commissary orders from the other state correctional facilities.

Two of the three remaining complexes house the mental health unit (MHU) and the transitional care unit (TCU). The MHU and TCU both handle inmates from the entire Minnesota DOC who require the unique services of those units. 

The TCU serves inmates who need intensive nursing care, such as postsurgical care, and also serves as a hospice. The MHU works with individuals who are in a mental health crisis or individuals who have been civilly committed as mentally ill in addition to their criminal commitment.

The ninth unit is the state's administrative control unit (ACU), which is also known as "Super-Seg.” It houses the most violent offenders in an environment where they have zero physical contact with staff. 

Each cell is a self-contained living unit that includes a sink, toilet, and shower and can only be accessed through two sets of doors, creating a sally port for each cell. Inmates are usually given access to an exercise room that is open to outside air for one hour each day.

The MCF-OPH facility was one of the facilities featured in a one-hour TV documentary titled Maximum Security Prisons for the Discovery Channel’s "On the Inside" series. The National Geographic Channel also produced an episode of America's Hardest Prisons on the Oak Park Heights Facility.

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Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Contact visits at MCF-Oak Park Heights are limited to a total of four visitors (with the exception of two additional children under 2 years of age). Non-Contact visits are limited to a total of two visitors (with the exception of one additional child under 2 years of age). Any more would be considered special visits and must be pre-approved due to limited space.

Hours of Visiting

Sunday - Wednesday

No visiting

Thursday and Friday

12:35 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Visiting Hours of Operation

12:35 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Visiting Registration Open

 3:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Visiting Registration Open


7 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.  Visiting Hours of Operation

7 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Visiting Registration Open

11:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Visiting Registration Open

Holidays (see below)

No visiting

Visiting Staff Contact Numbers: 651-779-1400, ext. 2149 or 2150. Please call during visiting hours.

Restrictive housing visits and all "Other Non-Contact" visits:

Non-Contact Visits for inmates in restrictive housing and general population inmates with restrictions are on a First Come First Serve basis for scheduled visits. All Complex 5 (CX5) restrictive housing and Administrative Control Unit (ACU) Visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.

ACU Friday 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (2 slots) 

CX5 Saturday 8 a.m. (4 slots) / 9:15 a.m. (4 slots)

ACU Saturday 12:00 p.m. (2 slots) ; 2:15 p.m. (2 slots) / 3:10 p.m. (2 slots)

For more information, contact 651-779-1400, ext. 2122 or 2185.

Visiting Regulations: Please read the Inmate Visiting Information prior to visits.

There is no visiting on the following State recognized holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • President's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4 (Independence Day)
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving and the following Friday
  • Christmas Day

Visiting Applications

You can find Visiting Application Forms in English and Spanish by clicking here. You will need to print off the application and mail in the application.

All visiting applications must be sent to :

MCF-Rush City
Attn: Visiting Unit
7600 525th Street
Rush City, MN 55069

If you have questions about the visiting applications, please contact the Rush City Visiting Unit at 320-358-0400.

General Visiting Rules

A maximum of four visitors are allowed per visiting session, with the exception of an additional two children under the age of two. A non-contact visit is limited to two visitors with the exception of an additional child under the age of two. 

A photographer may be available to take pictures in the visiting room. During non-contact visiting status, no photos may be taken. 

The restroom areas are off limits to both inmates and their visitors during the course of the visit. Restrooms are available in the lobby. If you leave the visiting room for any reason, the visit is considered terminated.

Visits are limited to one visit with the same offender per visitor per day.

Personal Property Rules in the Visiting Room

Visitors are not allowed to bring any items in or out of the visiting room without staff approval. 

The introduction of contraband to a facility or its grounds is an offense punishable by law. The exchange of any item in the visiting room, without prior approval, may be treated as a smuggling offense. 

Dress Code

Conservative clothing is required for all ages. Clothing must cover the upper body to include shoulders, upper and lower back, midriff and cleavage. Visiting staff have the authority to refuse admission to anyone whose attire violates the visiting dress code. 

Additional guidelines include, but are not limited to: 

  • See-through clothing, sheer fabric material, sleeveless clothing, and clothing with holes or lace that would expose any part of skin is prohibited. 
  • Tight or form fitting clothing that is revealing is prohibited. 
  • All pants, jeans or slacks must be worn at waist level. 
  • Undergarments must be worn at all times and must prevent from revealing anatomy. Underwire bras containing metal are not allowed. 
  • All skirts and dresses must cover the knee when seated. 
  • All shorts must cover no less than mid-thigh when seated. 
  • No hooded garments are allowed inside the visiting room. 
  • No hats, scarves, bandanas, or headgear of any kind. Religious headgear must not interfere with verification of identity and is subject to search. 
  • All blazers, suit jackets, and sweaters must be removed and will be searched prior to coming in.
  • No outdoor jackets, vests, or coats (this includes ponchos, shawls and jean jackets). 
  • Footwear must not present a security or safety concern. Boot height must not exceed midcalf. No sunglasses of any kind are allowed. 
  • All clothing must pass metal detection.

Video Visitation

Video visitation is available at all Minnesota DOC facilities. This allows people to visit an offender from any location with a computer that has a camera. To participate in a video visit with an offender, you must be on the offender's approved visitors list. 

To schedule a video visit with an offender, go to www.Jpay.com. If the visitor has not already done so, he or she will have to establish an account with JPay. Video visits are 30 minutes long and cost $9.95.

Video visiting scheduling is unique to each facility and each living unit. The JPay website is set up so you can only schedule a visit when the kiosk is available in the offender's living unit.

All video visits are recorded and subject to monitoring. 

Joining a video visitation
Scheduling a video visitation
Testing a webcam for a video visitation
Troubleshooting video visitations
Video visitation FAQs
Video Visitation Rules

Physical Address

Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082-1117

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/YvnPxWypC6UmbM1T6

General Phone Number

​(651) 779-1400

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and DOC Number
Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082-1117

All incoming mail is opened and reviewed by officers for the presence of contraband. All incoming mail must include the offender's commitment or department recognized legal name and Offender Identification (OID) number.

Incoming mail may include: paper with words/drawings; photographs (Polaroid photos must have the backing removed); periodicals and published materials shipped from the publisher; and clippings or photocopies of published materials that meet criteria. 

Signed commercial greeting cards and postcards are allowed, however cards that play music or have electronically recorded material on them are prohibited.

Incoming mail is limited to 16 ounces per item. A maximum of 20 photographs are allowed per envelope. Polaroid photographs must have the backing removed.


The Minnesota Department of Corrections has an online email system for inmates via JPay. To send an email to an offender, please visit JPay to create an account and send letters electronically.

Before you can send an email, you will need the inmate's ID number.


Videograms are 30-second videos that you can record and send to an inmate. Visit www.jpay.com for more information on how you can send videograms.

Videograms are reviewed by JPay employees to ensure they meet MN DOC criteria before they are delivered to the inmate. Click here to view the videogram rules. If your videogram is rejected, you will not receive a refund.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights, but they do have access to phones and are allowed to make monitored outgoing calls during approved hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Minnesota, please click here.

How to Send Money

The Minnesota Department of Corrections uses JPAY and MoneyGram for inmate money services. 

How to send money:

  • JPAY Website
  • MoneyGram locations (including CVS and Walmart). Receive Code is 1279.
  • Money Orders and cashier's checks mailed to the lockbox - no charge, however must be mailed with a money order deposit form. Payable to Jpay: PO Box 246450, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
  • Click the links below to download the money order deposit form.

Programs For Inmates

Educational programming at MCF-Oak Park Heights includes Adult Basic Education (ABE) to include literacy, digital literacy, and General Educational Development (GED) State Adult and High School diploma programs. 

Oak Park Heights is also credentialed to offer computer career programming. Inmates have the opportunity to earn certificates in Introduction to Computers and Microsoft Office Systems. The New Perspective (the inmate newspaper) has been in production since the late 1980's.

Oak Park Heights is the site of the consolidated inmate canteen service, operated by MINNCOR Industries and serves all DOC facilities. 

Inmates at Oak Park Heights participate in highly-structured programming, including mentorship programming, building character, lifer group, food services, restorative justice, institutional janitorial services, painters, and groundskeeping.

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Careers at Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights

If you are interested in a career with the Minnesota Department of Corrections at the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights, you can find job listings by clicking here