Justice Reinvestment in Minnesota

In 2021, the CSG Justice Center embarked on a Justice Reinvestment approach in Minnesota to help state leaders identify and address the most pressing criminal justice system challenges.

The Problem

In Minnesota, the annual cost of managing correctional facilities, supporting county supervision partners, and providing reentry services is well over $600 million. Minnesota also has the nation’s fifth-highest rate of people on probation, with 2 in every 100 adults in the state on probation as of 2018. Because more than 60 percent of prison admissions are due to supervision revocations, state leaders question the efficacy of the state’s current criminal justice investments and desire additional transparency and accountability for state funds dedicated to supervision. State and local leaders are also looking for solutions grounded in data and research that will make Minnesota’s criminal justice system more effective, fair, and equitable.

How JRI Helped

In the spring of 2021, state leaders requested support from the U.S. DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) to utilize the Justice Reinvestment Initiative to address Minnesota’s criminal justice challenges. As public-private partners in the federal JRI program, BJA and Pew approved Minnesota state leaders’ request and asked the CSG Justice Center to provide intensive technical assistance. With guidance and oversight from the Delivery System Standards and Funding Policy Working Group, CSG Justice Center staff collected and analyzed state data to inform the development of policy options to strengthen public safety, improve the outcomes of people on community supervision, and ensure equitable distribution of resources across the state. The Governor’s Council on Justice Reinvestment then reviewed these policies to develop strategic priorities for legislative action during the 2022 Minnesota legislative session.

Next Steps

While JRI policy provisions failed to pass as part of a larger public safety omnibus bill during the 2022 session, state and local stakeholders expressed support for continuing to explore administrative improvements to supervision practices, as well as future changes to the state’s supervision funding formula.