Bleak outlook for Minnesota's criminal justice system

Stillwater prison
The men's state prison in Stillwater, Minnesota.
MPR Photo/Dan Olson

By 2030, the number of black people arrested in Minnesota will nearly double, and the prison population will increase by 1,000 inmates every other year.

Those are just two of the disheartening predictions in a new report from The Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice. The report, titled, "Justice Where Art Thou?" looks at rising crime and poverty levels in Minnesota in the next 25 years.

The council is holding a forum Wednesday called Framework for the Future, to discuss five things Minnesota can do to head off those rising crime rates.

They include: Having 90 percent of fathers involved in their children's lives; ensuring that 95 percent of high school students graduate within four years; refocusing the state's correctional model on rehabilitation; and removing legal barriers from from the records of less-serious criminals.

To kick off the conference, the council invited author and staff writer for The New Yorker Malcom Gladwell to analyze the findings of the report.

Gladwell, author of the bestselling books "The Tipping Point" and "Blink," is often used as an analyst and a futurist in the business world to predict how small changes can have dramatic effects on the market.

The council asked Gladwell to use his analytical skills to look at Minnesota's future. His speech focused on how to frame efforts of change and reform in the Twin Cities community.

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