Volume 105 #14
We will meet at noon
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at
The Lyric Conference Room 
James Bailey
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Rob Hofmann
It was a dark and glooming Thursday for about forty Rotarians whom made their way into the environs of the  Federal Prison Camp, Duluth (FPC Duluth), the 90 acre former USAF Base. No, it had nothing to do with Yellow Rubber Ducks games of chance, nor the annual Rose Day scheme – simply an opportunity to see life of the confined.
Once fortified by a box lunch and fellowship, President Michelle Buria introduced our host FPC Duluth Warden Bryan Birkholz. The Warden provided a bit of his career background in corrections which began in his home state of Oregon and led him to northern California, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Rochester, MN and finally to FPC Duluth. The all-male inmate population of nearly 500 confined here were sent to this minimum-security prison by US District Court Judges from all over the country. Warden Birkolz stated that the primary mission of FPC Duluth is to: 1) safely confine offenders, and 2) prepare them for release so that they may succeed “on the streets” and never return. Warden Birkholz has 111 staff who provide professional support in a variety of familiar jobs that could be found in just about any small town – healthcare, education, IT, trades, and of course police. Working with an annual budget of $16.6 million, FPC Duluth is among the institutions that have the lowest costs in the country to house each inmate at $74.00 per day. When Rotarian Earl Rogers asked about a risk of “walk-aways”, the Warden stated that these inmates are greatly motivated to fulfill their terms as this is the “last stop” in the prison system. The inmates know that by taking that risk they would be apprehended and sent to a more secure prison environment facing more time. Additionally, as prisons go, FPC Duluth is more like an open military camp (which it was until the early 1980s). Inmates have structured days as one would expect, but they also are allowed to freely move between dorms and jobs, activities, and occasionally – off campus. One extraordinary program “Inside-Out” has FPC Duluth partnered with Lake Superior College providing inmate access to degree programs on the LSC campus. This opportunity also affords inmates to attend classes with LSC students at LSC, while LSC students join them at FPC Duluth for class!
Rotarians were required to sign in, leave cellphones, cameras and tobacco products in our vehicles and to surrender driver’s license before we began our tour of selected buildings. Rotarians were divided into a number of small groups led by FPC Duluth staff. Our tour was led by FPC Duluth Public Information Officer Adam Hastings who walked us through a modest drizzle to a substance-recovery dorm where inmates lived and received treatment as a community within a community. We saw well-kept cells – more like multi-person dorm rooms.
Other buildings visited included an arts and crafts building where Rotarian Bob Kase marveled at the extraordinary leather craftsmanship demonstrated by an inmate who proudly showed a briefcase that is destined as a holiday gift for a family member. Mike Orman enjoyed viewing an art project underway in a ceramics area. Another stop was FPC Duluth’s commissary where inmates may place orders for additional foods and household items that complement the essentials already provided by the prison. Inmates may spend funds from a “trust account” held by the prison and managed by an FPC Duluth Trust Officer.  The trust account is for an inmate’s personal use and derived from income earned from a modest $0.12 to $0.45 per hour prison jobs – or from deposits into the account from family and friends. A fully equipped medical clinic was our last stop where Rotarian Phil Strom learned that what clinic staff could not address at FPC Duluth, which covers most eventualities, St. Luke’s was available as a backstop.
FPC Duluth’s inmates welcomed our questions and did not seem to mind the intrusion into their daily routine. We learned that most of these inmates are in for drug related offences and white-collar crime and pose no violent threat to anyone. Through FPC Duluth’s education program, Club #25 may consider hosting a few of these confined neighbors at a future program as they make presentations to clubs and schools a part of their rehabilitation – and as a cautionary tale for those who may consider unacceptable social behavior.
The Rose Sale went AMAZING! Thank you to all that participated!!! 
100th Anniversary Virginia, MN Rotary Club
This Week's Meeting
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn: Lyric Conference Room
200 W 1st st
Duluth, MN  55802
United States of America
VenueMap Venue Map
Oct 17, 2019
The Israeli Palestine Conflict
Oct 24, 2019
Google Earth Travler
Oct 31, 2019
Talent: The New Capital
Nov 07, 2019
Climate Change: A Global Challenge
Nov 14, 2019
Rotary Foundation Month
Nov 21, 2019
Duluth Parks; the gems of our City
View entire list
Upcoming Events
International Service committee meeting
Oct 15, 2019
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
October Board Meeting
St Luke's Foundation Office
Oct 15, 2019
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Rotary World Polio Day
Oct 24, 2019
Past Presidents' Advisory Meeting
Rotary Office Conference Room
Oct 24, 2019
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Rotaract Pints for Polio
Oct 24, 2019
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fellowship Breakfast
Oct 25, 2019
7:30 AM – 9:07 AM
Rotary Duck Pluck Check Presentation
Boys & Girls Club Goldberg (Clyde)
Oct 30, 2019
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Rotary Rose Sale Wrap Up Meeting
Rotary Office
Oct 31, 2019
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Paul Harris Dinner
Shrine Event Center
Nov 07, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation - Board Meeting
Raymond James
Nov 12, 2019
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Daniel Bergeland
October 3
Jim Grant
October 3
Missy Swor
October 3
Dan Dock
October 4
Ryan Johnson
October 7
Gary Melander
October 8
Dean Casperson
October 10
Katherine LaFleur
October 10
Mark Peterson
October 10
Steve Johnston
October 10
Kevin Jones
October 14
Branden Robinson
October 15
Jim Monge
October 15
Bonita Nelson
October 16
Robert Kase
October 17
Jerry Pelofske
October 24
Jena Evans
October 27
Jon Ohman
October 30
Mary Niemeyer
October 31
Join Date
Jena Evans
October 4, 2012
7 years
Dick Carlson
October 5, 1972
47 years
Gerald Ostroski
October 6, 1983
36 years
Renee Mattson
October 6, 2005
14 years
Katherine LaFleur
October 11, 2018
1 year
Chas Bernick
October 12, 1989
30 years
Bob Bennett
October 13, 1977
42 years
Karol Sowers
October 18, 2012
7 years
Steve LaFlamme
October 20, 1983
36 years
Dick Fischer
October 22, 1992
27 years
Elizabeth Simonson
October 28, 2010
9 years