Justice Reform in 2021
We are committed to dismantling the racial inequities that pervade our community’s criminal legal system. Each step we take drives long-term systems change.
Our 2021 Highlights
Policing Project – We joined a multi-year partnership with New York University’s Policing Project, which is working with Minneapolis and four other U.S. cities to study solutions to transform public safety. In this initiative, the Policing Project will focus on reimagining 911 dispatch and first response to better align services with community needs and avoid harmful outcomes. Get a glimpse of this work in our podcast conversation with the Policing Project’s founding director, Barry Friedman.
Conviction Review Unit – We partnered with the Great North Innocence Project to provide multi-year support to Minnesota’s New Conviction Review Unit (CRU). Housed within the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, the CRU works to free people who are in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, and to prevent wrongful convictions from happening in the first place. Originally launched with federal support in 2020, the CRU began accepting applications from defendants last summer. Our support will help build out the staffing, forensics testing, translation, and administrative capacity of the program over the next two years. Learn more >
Public Safety Working Group – Our Chief Impact Officer, Chanda Smith Baker, joined a new community working group formed by the Mayor of Minneapolis to develop public safety recommendations.
Justice 4 All – We collaborated with the United Way and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation to launch Justice 4 All, which seeks to bring transformational change to the criminal justice system.
Fund for Safe Communities – Through our 2021 Safe Communities Micro Grants and other investments, our Fund for Safe Communities supported efforts to prevent violence, address systemic injustice, and heal communities. Watch the brief video below to learn more about the Fund and meet a few of the emerging community leaders who advise it.