Sentencing Reform Bill Introduced in Minnesota Legislature
ST. PAUL -- A sentencing reform bill is being pushed this year at the Minnesota State Legislature. The Minnesota Second Chance Coalition is asking for the prosecutor-initiated re-sentencing bill.
Spokeswoman Gina Evans says resentencing would reduce spending by the state on incarcerated people who don't pose a risk to public safety.
Four in 10 people in prison are there with no public safety rationale, and so we support legislation that would allow prosecutors and prosecutors alone to review past convictions, return people to court, and then argue for shorter sentences where it is warranted.
She says back in the 1980s and 1990s during the 'war on drugs' there was a lot of tough sentences for drug crimes.
We have children that we convicted during that time that we convicted at 11, 12, and 13 years old. We know now, because of brain development, that children's brains aren't even developed enough at that time to really even hold them accountable for their behavior.
Evans says now children a treated much differently in the court system.
Evans says the law would also incentivize people in jail to participate in rehabilitation programs. The bill would not mandate county attorneys to use the law but instead would just give them the option.