At ‘Minnesota Justice Forum,’ National and Local Leaders Discuss Bipartisan Justice Reform Strategies

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Today, the U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan group working to reform the justice system in Minnesota and around the country, hosted members of the state legislature, county attorneys, city attorneys, county commissioners, and local leaders to discuss conservative, cost-effective approaches to justice reform. Leaders from the U.S. Justice Action Network were joined by prominent representatives from Faith & Freedom Coalition and local leaders in a discussion to lead the event.

“While Minnesota has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country, the state has seen one of the fastest growing prison population rates in the nation since 2003,” said Jenna Moll, Deputy Director, U.S. Justice Action Network. “For the last several years, the state’s legislators have taken a number of positive steps to reform the justice system. However, we have far more work to do to increase public safety and improve correctional outcomes in Minnesota, learning from other states which have achieved bipartisan, smart reforms in recent years.”

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From left to right: Patrick Purtill, Director of Legislative Affairs at Faith & Freedom Coalition; Jenna Moll, Deputy Director, U.S. Justice Action Network; and Mary Liz Holberg, Dakota County Commissioner and former State Representative.

Building on the reforms of recent years, like the drug sentencing reform legislation from last year, the speakers at the forum offered insight into strategies on civil asset forfeiture reform, particularly as it pertains to H.F. 389, an innocent joint-owner forfeiture reform currently on both the House and Senate floors waiting for final passage, as well as strategies for probation reform and for justice reinvestment. The discussion was led by Jenna Moll, Deputy Director of the U.S. Justice Action Network; Patrick Purtill, Director of Legislative Affairs at Faith & Freedom Coalition; and Mary Liz Holberg, Dakota County Commissioner and former State Representative.

“Today’s Minnesota Justice Forum was a great first step towards achieving a conservative approach to the justice system,” said Patrick Purtill, Director of Legislative Affairs at Faith & Freedom Coalition. “Elected officials, like the ones in attendance today, have the opportunity to ensure safer communities by focusing on reform efforts that are smart, targeted, and cost-effective.”

“Minnesotans have long worked towards implementing smart reforms that make our communities safer and stronger,” said Mary Liz Holberg, Dakota County Commissioner and former State Representative. “While there is still work to be achieved, today’s event was a great step forward in ensuring a more just and effective system.”

The U.S. Justice Action Network collaborates with law enforcement, builds state-based coalitions, and engages in aggressive public education to raise awareness and pass real criminal justice reforms. Today’s Forum brought together diverse voices and decision makers to discuss ways to ensure a more effective justice system that makes communities safer, all while saving taxpayer dollars.