Families of inmates at Stillwater prison continue to speak-out about conditions

Advocates and loved ones of inmates at Stillwater Prison delivered a list of demands to state offices.

They are asking the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to investigate what they call human rights abuses within the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC).

"The conditions are horrible. When people say ‘do the crime, do the time,’ that doesn't include being treated like an animal," said community organizer Toussaint Morrison.

On Sunday, more than 100 inmates refused to return to their cells to protest what they say is brown water in their cells and a lack of air conditioning in the prison during the height of the latest heat wave.

The spouses of some inmates also fear the prison is punishing their loved ones for participating in a peaceful protest.

"Me and his son, we speak to him every day. We haven't been able to hear from him. We are very concerned. We hope we hear from him today. We want to know that he's OK," said the wife of one of the inmates, Doerminda Assani.

A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections says the section of the prison where the protest took place, B East, is still on lockdown while the rest of the units are up and running with programming.

DOC officials say 120 inmates who took part in the protest face discipline of up to 30 days of in-house segregation in their cells, with limited access to showers, recreation and phone time.

Seven other inmates considered to be the protest organizers are in administrative segregation in another part of the prison.

The DOC says it is bringing in additional employees from across the system to help alleviate some of the staffing challenges at Stillwater.

The inmates in the unit who did not take part in the protest and are still on lockdown will be the first to get out of their cells.