The Minnesota Second Chance Coalition held a press conference this week advocating for their 2020 Legislative Agenda. The organization advocates for effective, just, and responsible laws, policies, and practices to ensure that individuals who have been involved in the justice system have meaningful second chances, so everyone has a path to achieve self-sufficiency and an opportunity to contribute to their communities. They also advocate for policy changes to ensure system-involved youth are not limited in their ability to become successful adults.
Included in their 2020 agenda are several ways to combat unfair and oppressive legislation that has historically increased the likelihood of poverty, broken family units and the subsequent hardship, and the chances of formerly incarcerated citizens reoffending.
One priority highlighted would give the primary caregiver of a child consideration of alternative sentencing rather than automatic incarceration, so they can remain present in their children’s lives. They also advocated for changes to the Clemency Commission/Pardon Reform process to ensure it is utilized more often and more efficiently. They are working to pass legislation to reduce the impact of fines and fees people incur, such as in considering factors that affect one’s ability to pay, restoring the right to vote for those formerly incarcerated, and ending death-in-prison sentences for youth.