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We, the undersigned, call for an end to the practice of sending people to prison for technical violations of parole. A technical violation is a minor violation of parole that is not a new misdemeanor or felony crime but can include driving a car, being late to an appointment, going on social media, losing a job or housing, and other non-crimes.
In 2017 the Minnesota Department of Corrections sent 2,986 people to prison for technical violations or parole -- 36.4% of prison admissions that year. According to a study at Columbia University, 48% of Minnesotans who go on parole end up back in prison yet based on DOC entry statistics, 88% of those are for technical violations, not new crimes!
This is tearing apart families, ruining lives, and draining millions of dollars that could be spent on reentry and rehabilitation, housing, education, as it costs $41,366 per person per year to incarcerate someone in MN (Vera Institute).
Why are we sending people to prison for minor violations instead of supporting people to re-enter society to thrive for themselves and the community around them? We want the Department of Corrections to
1. End to the practice of incarcerating people for technical violations - no one should be sent to prison for petty violations of parole
2. Release all prisoners in MN prisons due to technical violations, by the Holidays at the latest, and reinvest that money in those directly impacted by the prison system