PBI’s Minnesota Collaborative Justice Project (MNCJP) brings together diverse stakeholders to collectively serve the needs of some of the most vulnerable in our society by implementing an agreed-upon and measurable plan to address a persistent societal challenge – the successful reentry of individuals released from federal and state correctional facilities.
An all-volunteer Steering Committee leads the Project and includes representatives from corporations, law firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in Minnesota, as well as individuals who were formally incarcerated.
To achieve the Project goals, the Steering Committee identified inter-related focus areas and formed working groups tasked to develop and implement action plans to remove the common barriers to reentry.
The Project’s priority areas include:
- Reentry Planning. Offering programming to incarcerated individuals prior to release to promote and develop post release success.
- Project Connect offers to individuals, while they are incarcerated, programming that: focuses on developing planning for post-release; helps incarcerated people visualize and anticipate life after prison; builds long-term cognitive skills and day-to-day practical skills; and develops a tangible, written action plan for post-release life.
- Access to Services. Increasing access to employment, housing, and legal services, to promote fuller and healthier lives for those returning to the community.
- The Civil Legal Needs initiative pairs pro bono attorneys with formerly incarcerated clients to address their civil legal challenges. Learn more about how to get involved here.
- Policy and Advocacy. Advocating for changes to policies, rules, and legislation that create system-wide barriers to successful reentry. Recent issue areas include identification, access to driver’s licenses, and modification of child support orders.
The Collaborative Justice Project has seen results in Minnesota and plans to broaden the impact of this important work to include other jurisdictions and areas of focus. Through the work of this program, we plan to develop strategies that will inform similar efforts in other communities around the country, with a special emphasis on access to justice and social justice issues.
To support this initiative, or contribute your time and expertise, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.