Policy and Advocacy

Successful reentry requires policies and practices that promote supportive environments and improve lives on a statewide basis.

 

MNCJP advocates for changes in policies and practices that create systemic barriers to reentry. Working in collaboration with community partners, MNCJP seeks to eliminate obstacles and promote practices that elevate the reentry community. 

 

Key Issues:

 

Driver’s License. Reliable transportation is integral to seeking and maintaining employment, a key indicator for success in reentry. However, many states suspend driver’s licenses for a host of reasons unrelated to driving. These laws disproportionately impact low-income communities, communities of color, and communities that have few alternative means of transportation, including individuals reentering the community.

 

Child Support. Child support payment obligations impact a majority of incarcerated Minnesotans. In most cases, when a non-custodial parent is incarcerated, they no longer have a meaningful income to make child support payments. However, their child support payment obligations may continue and interest accrues on arrearages. The inability to pay child support drives released parents away from their families and away from legitimate employment. Arrears also discourage obligors from cooperating with the child support system upon release. Yet, current law and practices make it harder for many non-custodial parents to successfully manage their obligations.

 

Recent Policy Changes

SF519  was passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by the Governor in May 2021. It requires that information, assistance, services, and medications be provided to individuals upon release from prison, including identification cards that can be used to help secure a driver’s license. Effective July 2021.