Honoring MLK with Steps to Reform Criminal Justice
This year, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sabathani will host the MLK Criminal Justice Reform Legislative Preview with the Minnesota Justice Research Center (MNJRC).
As we all know, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life dedicated to fighting injustice. While the Civil Rights Movement was dedicated to addressing many institutional injustices, mass incarceration is one that persists to this day.
At the heart of our upcoming event, state legislators will be invited to reflect on the problems and progress of the past and to commit to taking action to transform the criminal legal system.
In Minnesota, black community leaders have long requested action on criminal justice reform proposals. These calls were only heightened after the murder of George Floyd. However, for the past four years, the partisan divide at the legislature has stifled progress on a wide variety of high-profile criminal justice proposals.
After the recent election, the Minnesota legislature is now under one-party control, which means less partisan politicking clogging up negotiations and, presumably, more cooperation between the House and Senate on criminal justice reform.
The extent to which one-party control will mean meaningful change in criminal justice reform is still unclear. For this reason, the MNJRC has partnered with black-led organizations such as the Council for Minnesota of African Heritage, the African American Leadership Forum, the Twin Cities Urban League, the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, and the Minneapolis NAACP to offer a preview for what Minnesotans can expect from the legislative session. They’ll also outline how to engage and support transformative changes to the criminal legal system.
We look forward to honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in such a meaningful way. For those interested in attending this free event, please register here.