Priority Legislation

Mandate Reporting of Pre-Trial Data

Mandate that every Minnesota county annually compiles and reports pre-trial data to the Legislature.

Primary Author:
Athena Hollins (D)

Right now in Minnesota, it is practically impossible to access data – even by public records requests – that would provide a clear and complete picture of the pre-trial system in our state.In the absence of reliable data, the right-wing media machine including pundits, social media influencers, reporters, and lawmakers can fill the vacuum with disinformation designed to stoke fear and teach their base to see many poor people, immigrants, and Black and brown people as “dangerous criminals.” If we want to educate our neighbors about pretrial fairness and inoculate them against racist fear campaigns, we need the facts.Even more urgently, we need accurate and complete data in order to make sound policy.

But currently, legislators attempting to lead on the issue of pre-trial fairness lack access to basic statewide data that would allow them to, for example, identify disparities in detention length and bail amount based on the defendant’s race.Our pretrial system impacts individual lives, families, and communities, and it shouldn’t be allowed to operate in the dark. We’re advocating for legislation that would mandate that counties report pre-trial data, including number of people jailed, bail amounts, people’s ability to pay, and more.

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