The Council’s advocacy efforts are necessary to bring about system and policy change, and help to advance effective solutions to issues of concern that have been identified through our research and demonstration findings.
The purpose of any Council Advocacy Initiative is to provide broad public education about the findings and recommendations derived from the research and demonstration projects undertaken by the Council on Crime and Justice and when appropriate, to advocate for the adoption of the Council’s recommendations
- To reduce the negative collateral consequences (effects) of an arrest or a conviction. Three specific, current efforts will be pursued:
- Identification of all Minnesota statutory collateral effects (teamed with Anoka County Attorney Bob Johnson to bring a Task Force together);
- Further quantification of the impact of any arrest record; c. Re-enfranchisement of all non-incarcerated felons (in partnership with the Minneapolis Foundation).
- Note: Our efforts will be of benefit to all offenders, but since people of color and disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, they will benefit more greatly.
WHAT INITIATVE WILL ACCOMPLISH
- To the extent that collateral consequences are a services barrier to successful rehabilitation (and particularly to re-entry from prison), limiting the negative impact of collateral consequences directly helps offenders and their families succeed.
- By helping offenders succeed and thereby reducing the recidivism rate among offenders, the effort will also help address the difference in the disparity (since offenders of color now disproportionately re-offend).
WHAT THE COUNCIL NEEDS TO DO
- Outreach around collateral consequences generally, and specific to three issues, identified above to engage potential supportive partners within education, business, labor, civil rights, civil liberties, corrections and other organizations, using mailings (electronic and e-mail); media; forums; and teach-ins.
- Enlist and define role of coalition partners.
- Serve as a resource for partners within their respective roles.
- Work with partners to raise collateral consequences and the legal, moral and practical impediments they represent (including public safety).
- Facilitate/support the advocacy efforts of our partners.
- Engage in direct advocacy with policy makers (lobbying).