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Our research equips communities with tools for transformative change

Our Work
What does this look like in practice? 

Our partnership and evaluation research is responsive to community needs and the critical direct service and programmatic work happening locally here in Minnesota.


We work in partnership with organizations and agencies to evaluate programs and processes, and provide recommendations for meaningful change. 

Research Projects

Mar 15, 2024

Community supervision is one of the most widely used forms of correctional control in the United States. In this report, we review the broad literature on the causes and consequences of this mass expansion of community supervision.

Feb 15, 2024

In this preliminary report, we provide a high-level summary of the current law of pretrial release and detention in Minnesota. We focus on the role of data and explore the current landscape in Minnesota where we identify several significant barriers to better understanding our pretrial system.

Sep 21, 2023

2022 was a big year for the MNJRC, from issuing a self-initiated report on accountability in policing to supporting the MN Department of Human Rights in negotiating a consent decree with the City of Minneapolis that reflects the community's perspectives to advancing research to support restoring voting rights to Minnesotans with criminal records. Read more here!

Mar 31, 2023

This report highlights three main recommendations drawn from community feedback to address race-based policing and strengthen public safety in Minneapolis through a consent decree.

May 24, 2022

Our second report examining values in the criminal legal system, this review explores the role of the Minnesota POST Board in enhancing accountability for police use-of-force misconduct.

Feb 1, 2021

Our first report examining values in the criminal legal system, this review examines the data on the presence of explicit white supremacist idealogies and hate groups in law enforcement and trust in policing.

Jan 28, 2019

This memo examines the differences in surcharge collection rate for cases based on whether or not a defendant was represented by a public defender.

Mar 15, 2024

Drug testing is a standard practice for people on probation and parole. Should it be? Luke’s story details how this common procedure can disrupt his successful transition from prison.

Nov 23, 2023

What does life after prison look like for some Minnesotans? It can involve Intensive Supervised Release (or ISR) resulting in a challenging experience navigating a continued culture of punishment.

Sep 7, 2023

MNJRC's research report exploring whether cash bail supports or undermines commonly and communally held values of justice, fairness, and safety.

Jan 16, 2023

This series of short documents explore research connected to the restoration of voting rights

Mar 31, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety contracted with Wilder Research to conduct an external review of the state’s response to civil unrest that occurred following the murder of George Floyd. MNJRC partnered with Wilder to lead focus groups with community leaders, business owners, and youth.

Feb 21, 2019

This memo details the racial and geographic distribution of felon disenfranchisement in Minnesota as a tool to consider the impact of proposed legislation (HF 40/SF 856) that would restore the right to vote for people convicted of felony offenses in reentry.

Mar 15, 2024

From 1991 to 2021, the percentage of people in prison aged 55 or older grew from 3 percent to 15 percent. The costs of imprisoning older people are skyrocketing because they are twice as expensive to incarcerate due to health care expenses.

Nov 15, 2023

The Returning Home Saint Paul (RHSP) pilot was a partnership between the City of Saint Paul, HousingLink, and Ujamaa Place to house Black men aged 18-30 years old who have experienced incarceration.

Aug 23, 2023

Findings from MNJRC's pilot project on how to effectively reach formerly disenfranchised voters in Minnesota that leads them to vote.

Jul 6, 2022

This toolkit provides information and resources for members of the public interested in communicating
their support for recent administrative rules changes at the Minnesota POST Board.

Mar 17, 2022

One-Year Check-In of the Returning Home Saint Paul Pilot (RHSP)

This report offers a high-level overview of learnings at a one-year check point for the RHSP pilot, a partnership between the City of Saint Paul, HousingLink, and Ujamaa Place to house residents returning to the community from incarceration.

Feb 20, 2019

This memo explores the impact of the 2016 Drug Sentencing Reform Act (DSRA) on average probation sentence length, exploring the differences by judicial district.

Our Partners Include
MN Second Chance Coalition • City of Saint Paul
MN Asset Building Coalition • Transform Justice for All 
Who does our research?

Our research program is led by our Research Director in partnership with a Research Steering Committee. Our growing team of Research Managers, Assistants, and Consultants are on-the-ground designing evaluations, collecting data, working with partners, and contributing to research products and the creation of educational tools and policies on a project-by-project basis. Our research interns support our Research Director, working across projects.

Our research is guided by five core values:


We view knowledge as co-created and generate our research ideas with and in community. 


We strive for rigorous high standards for data collection and analysis, understanding the myth of pure objectivity while seeking balance and openness to learn and shift what we believe.


We seek diverse life experiences, expertise, and perspectives. 


We require commitment from community members to deeply engage with our work and use our research to hold hard conversations. 


We strive to push our research to meaningfully affect change.

Support Our Work
A gift to MNJRC enables us to continue our research, education, and policy development that directly impact and create a criminal justice system that aligns with our commonly held-values.

The Minnesota Justice Research Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The work of MNJRC is made possible by the generous support of local organizations and community members who believe that practical, high-impact research and policy development can help to create a more effective, humane and equitable justice system for all Minnesotans.​

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