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New Wardens Installed at Moose Lake and Rush City Correctional Facilities

Two new wardens were installed at the Moose Lake and Rush City correctional facilities on Tuesday, May 24.

Brian Collins is the new warden at MCF-Moose Lake and Jesse Pugh is the new warden at MCF-Rush City, with both beginning their duties this spring.

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Collins began his career in 2006 with the Department of Human Services as a security counselor and special investigator. Within the DOC, he has worked as a probation and parole agent, program director for the community notification unit, Field Services District Supervisor, Associate Warden of Administration at MCF-St. Cloud, Associate Warden of Operations of the Challenge Incarceration Program and at MCF-Rush City, and recently served as an Assistant Commissioner.

“Correctional facilities are aptly named—they exist to facilitate transformational change within the people we serve. Because 95% of incarcerated people eventually release from prison, we have an obligation to ensure people return to the community as productive, contributing members,” said MCFMoose Lake Warden Brian Collins. “Recognizing the community’s role in good correctional outcomes, I intend to engage local and regional criminal justice partners, service providers, business leaders, and members of the public to strengthen reentry efforts. The staff at Moose Lake work hard to achieve this vision every day. They demonstrate incredible resilience and professionalism, especially over the past few years. I am thankful for them and honored to join the team.”

Jesse Pugh started with the MN DOC in 2004 as a corrections officer at MCF-Stillwater. In 2013, he was promoted to program director at MCF-St. Cloud. In 2015, he transferred to MCF-Lino Lakes as a program director and also completed a temporary assignment as the associate warden of operations. In 2017, he was promoted to associate warden of administration at MCF-St. Cloud. He was then promoted to associate warden of operations at MCF-Rush City in 2018.

“Positive transformational change and growth is at the core of all of our work within a correctional facility,” said MCF-Rush City Warden Jesse Pugh. “Safer communities are achieved through personal transformation, not by simply locking people up and hoping they change their ways. Given that 95% of incarcerated people transition back to our communities, it is vital that they have access to programming and treatment that best positions them for transformation and success. I’m proud of the person-centered work of our staff and their dedicated service to all Minnesotans.”

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