Delivering effective correctional services that hold incarcerated individuals accountable and result in changed behavior, while also addressing the needs of crime victims, requires a comprehensive multi-faceted approach.
Our "SAFETY FIRST" approach recognizes that establishing safety is a basic human need. In order to provide correctional services that meet the justice interests of victims and the needs of offenders requiring rehabilitative change, we must prioritize the safety of all corrections staff, the safety of those residing in our correctional facilities, and those under correctional supervision in Minnesota communities.
The effectiveness of our corrections system is a 'Main Street' issue for all Minnesotans. 95% of the women and men currently incarcerated in Minnesota prisons will one day return to communities and neighbors throughout the state. Given this reality, it only makes sense that Minnesota's Department of Corrections initiates effective, practical, and fiscally responsible rehabilitative intervention efforts. Effective service delivery to the correctional population requires thorough assessment of offender needs and risks, followed by the use of evidence-based intervention strategies.
When communities are more connected, they're safer. We want Minnesota's response to criminal behavior and wrongdoing to be fair, effective, and meaningful. It is time to replace the failed "tough on crime" approach with a "smart on crime" rehabilitative standard. This new standard provides for meaningful accountability while working to address the needs of those who have offended at the community level - reserving the costly use of Minnesota's prison system for those who represent higher-risk to communities and have more significant intervention needs. The new standard also demands that we ensure that offenders maintain pro-social connections with their family, friends, and faith or spiritual communities during incarceration, as these entities all serve as critical supports during a successful community reentry process.
We help ensure people in Minnesota are safe. The Walz-Flanagan budget funds critical needs for corrections, including staffing, programming, healthcare, and victim notification.