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There’s still time to enact criminal justice reform in Minnesota

May 26, 2021 by AFP

As Minnesota’s legislative session heads to overtime, state lawmakers should be focused on agenda items that unite rather than divide. One key area where there is fertile common ground is criminal justice reform.

In the Minnesota Post, Jason Flohrs, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Minnesota, endorses a handful of proposals that “focus on eliminating both unnecessary barriers to opportunity and unnecessary interactions with law enforcement. They help focus law enforcement’s role to protect and serve, not dilute their mission by asking them to collect debts or raise revenues.”

The measures under consideration, the Rehabilitation and Reinvest Act and a drivers’ license suspension reform proposal, would:

  • Improve second chances for those in the state’s justice system by expanding treatment and educational programming, focusing resources to those who need help the most, allowing participants to earn release credits, and incentivizing compliance with community supervision.
  • Reform the driver’s license suspension system to ensure that dangerous drivers would still be held to account by tying suspensions to driving behavior and public safety rather than ability to pay.
  • Protect Minnesotans’ property and due process rights by reforming the state’s asset forfeiture process, refocusing use of civil forfeiture on large-scale criminal enterprises and limiting its use against those in low-income communities.

While Minnesota has made some important progress on criminal justice and policing issues, Flohrs concludes, “we have a long way to go toward respecting the human dignity and constitutional rights of all our citizens.”

Read the whole thing here.