Senate Republicans again fail to deliver on public safety

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard this week a number of bills that would fail to keep Minnesotans safe.

From increasing the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on incarceration to removing judicial and prosecutorial discretion, Senate Republicans are focused on responses to the state’s uptick in crime that not only do nothing but exasperate the problem but also fail to prevent crime in the future.

On the other hand, Senate DFLers presented a bill that would make historic investments in the state’s youth intervention program. These programs provide services for youth experiencing personal, familial, school, legal, or chemical problems.

The programs provide truancy prevention, literacy and academic assistance, behavioral interventions and counseling, mentoring, juvenile justice system diversions and restorative justice, and more. These are proven programs in providing stability in the lives of youth and preventing crime.

We know the best way to intervene with youth in the criminal justice system is to keep them from getting involved in it in the first place. The state’s youth intervention program does just that. Approximately 90% of Minnesota’s youth involved in a youth intervention program don’t get new delinquency charges. This bill would invest $10 million into these proven programs that not only reduce – but also prevent – crime.

The bill was laid over for further consideration. It remains to be seen whether Senate Republicans will support any solutions to prevent crime this session. (SF 2989)