NEIGHBORHOOD INTEGRATION AND
DILIGENT CLIENT SUPERVISION
ASSIST IN REDUCING CRIME
By Chester Cooper, Director of Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation
Minneapolis is always changing. It does not matter if you are talking about the revitalization of a neighborhood or the rise in crime in another area, things change.
South Minneapolis experienced a relatively low crime rate over the past several years. This has led to more businesses popping up and new families moving in.
However, as of late criminal activity has increased.
The Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation is committed to community safety, community restoration and reducing the risk of re-offense throughout Hennepin County. When crime increases, we are always willing to be part of determining the cause and assisting in the solution.
To reduce crime, the department utilizes neighborhood probation offices in areas susceptible to higher crime rates, partners with law enforcement in the Minneapolis Antiviolence Initiative (MAVI), and monitors high-risk probation clients where they live.
During an influx in crime in a given area, our neighborhood probation officers engage with the community to make sure our probation clients are not part of the problem. If they find out our clients are responsible for the rise in crime it is immediately addressed.
Neighborhood probation officers regularly dedicate a portion of their time to building relationships within the community. They attend events, such as National Night Out, community meetings, and safety initiatives hosted by our external partners.
The department’s Minneapolis Antiviolence Initiative has also ramped up efforts to combat criminal activity.
The initiative is a grant program supported by the Office of Justice Programs and Justice Assistance Grants to aide in innovation, partnership and promotion of safer neighborhoods. The program is a collaborative initiative with metro area law enforcement aiding in the operation of a comprehensive strategy to increase intelligence efforts, aide in probation supervision and offer support in the community while increasing public safety.
The initiative has led to more than one thousand home visits conducted by probation officers and our criminal justice partners. It has decreased the amount of time a person who has an active warrant remains on the streets.
Lastly, the department’s high-risk probation officers are constantly monitoring their clients, which are the most likely to reoffend.
High-risk clients are held accountable through increased supervision, so they do not commit the crimes they were originally arrested for. These clients are provided county and community services necessary for future success. Providing a higher level of supervision and treatment to these clients enables the department to increase public safety.
These efforts lead to safer communities and are the primary strategy for addressing the criminal activity in South Minneapolis.
As a department and a county we will continue to work diligently through adequate resources allocation and engagement to make sure South Minneapolis is a safe place to live and work.