Former Shakopee superintendent Rod Thompson released from prison to ‘community confinement’

By Amanda McKnight

Former Shakopee superintendent Rod Thompson was released from prison Tuesday after spending 14 months of his 24-month sentence at the Duluth Federal Prison Camp for soliciting bribes and embezzling more than $30,000 from the Shakopee school district.

According to Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Public Information Officer Emery Nelson, Thompson was released to “community confinement” overseen by the BOP Minneapolis Residential Reentry Management Office. Nelson said the projected date of Thompson’s release from BOP custody is Oct. 27.

Community confinement means Thompson could be either in home confinement or in a halfway house, according to Nelson. “For privacy, safety, and security reasons, we do not release information on an individual inmate’s conditions of confinement,” Nelson said.

An email dated June 24 from the U.S. Department of Justice said Thompson “has been approved for placement in a Community Corrections Center (CCC), otherwise known as a halfway house, and will transfer from (prison) on June 30, 2020. After the transfer, the inmate will be located at his/her home on home confinement and monitored by CENTRE, Inc. in Fargo, North Dakota.”

After his eventual release from BOP custody, Thompson will be on supervised release, or probation, for two years.

Until recently, Thompson’s release date had been scheduled for January 2021. BOP Public Information Officer Justin Long could not provide details related to Thompson’s release but said an inmate’s time served could be reduced for several reasons, including good conduct.

While in prison, Thompson was permitted to accompany Duluth Federal Prison Camp teacher Peter Eng to the 2020 Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Conference held in Duluth in February.

Eng led a breakout session titled, “Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline” and had Thompson and four other people as guest speakers, according to the presentation’s slide deck.

A conference goer that attended the session said Thompson introduced himself as Dr. Rod Thompson and spoke about how he’s been helping young men in prison realize their potential.

Thompson’s attorney Peter Wold did not immediately respond to an email request for comment about his client’s release.

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