Statement of Support:
We 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.
This is particularly bad in Intensive Supervised Release (ISR), the most restrictive parole in Minnesota where every movement is monitored. Many people say that ISR is worse than prison.
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.
This is tearing apart families, ruining lives, and draining millions of dollars that could be spent on reentry and rehabilitation, housing, education, and more. According to the Vera Institute, incarceration in Minnesota costs $41,366 per person per year. 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.
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 start practicing justice immediately.
Specifically, we demand:1. An end to the practice of incarcerating people for technical violations - no one should be sent to prison for petty violations of parole2. The immediate release all prisoners in MN prisons due to technical violations and the reinvestment of that money in those directly impacted by the prison system3. The abolition of the Intensive Supervised Release program (ISR) - a key driver of technical violations
The Decarcerate MN Coalition and its Supporters Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) InequalityJust Write Now Power of People Leadership InstituteWomen's Prison Book Project