SAINT PAUL, MN — Yesterday, the Minnesota House approved a new public safety and criminal justice reform budget. Rep. Jamie Long (DFL – Minneapolis) is the chief author of legislation that was included in the budget.
“There’s a growing bipartisan consensus that we need comprehensive criminal justice reform,” said Rep. Long. “The stale approach that pushed more punishment, no matter how ineffective or even counterproductive, is fading. Let’s be smart on crime and help returning citizens rejoin their communities, rather than creating more obstacles.”
Minnesota ranks fifth in the nation in terms of length of probation. There are also significant racial and regional disparities. Rep. Long’s legislation would cap probation terms at five years, except for the most serious offenses. Another provision, also authored by Rep. Long, would ask the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission to establish guidelines for probation.
“Our probation system is failing basis tests of fairness,” Rep. Long said. “There are still Minnesotans who receive 20, 30, or 40 year probation terms. These types of sentences aren’t rehabilitative, and in fact can make it harder for individuals to reintegrate. It’s time we modernize and standardize our probation system.”