Justice System Collaboration & Response to COVID-19
Justice system partners in Ramsey County – including elected officials, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, corrections staff and law enforcement – have a strong tradition of collaborating with our community on systemic reform efforts. For years, we have worked together in numerous ways from reducing detention of our youth through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to improving our response to adults through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC).
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking critical steps to protect the health and safety of our community. We realized early on that an outbreak in our detention centers would not only impact staff and the people incarcerated there, but could quickly make its way into our larger community. We believe it is our collective responsibility to do everything we can to minimize that risk while protecting public safety by working collaboratively to reserve detention only for those who pose a serious threat to public safety.
Due to a yearlong planning initiative by the CJCC’s bail reform committee, co-led by people who have been justice-involved and those who work in the justice system, we were able to respond quickly to the pandemic and make informed decisions about who needs to be detained because they represent a serious threat to public safety and who can safely be released and supervised via tools like electronic home monitoring and probation staff.
Reducing the number of people booked into jail
Working with local law enforcement, we have significantly reduced the number of people booked into jail.
Reducing the number of people in detention
With the health and safety of our community first and foremost, we have been able to significantly reduce the number of people in detention since mid-March.