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Hennepin County Attorney 101

Join the MNJRC and the Minneapolis Foundation for an educational forum on the role of the Hennepin County Attorney and meet the candidates campaigning to lead this important office.

May 5th, 6pm - 8pm on Zoom.

RSVP HERE and check out our blog and webinar below for more information on the office.

Six people are currently running to be the next Hennepin County Attorney. For this nonpartisan office, there is one primary in August and the top two vote recipients go onto the general election in November.

What is a county attorney?

A county attorney is the elected prosecutor and lead civil lawyer for the county. In Hennepin County, the county attorney prosecutes adult criminal felony-level cases and all juvenile delinquency cases and provides related victim/witness assistance. They represent the county in child protection and child support cases and provide general legal advice and representation for the county government.

Hennepin County is the largest electorate in Minnesota short of a statewide election, it includes almost two full congressional districts with a diverse population of 1.2 million residents in cities from Minneapolis to Wayzata. The County Attorney oversees an office of 460 employees with an annual budget of $65 million and prosecutes about 10,874 adult and 2,473 juvenile cases every year.

Why should I care? As prosecutors, county attorneys are the most powerful people in the criminal legal system. They hold vast power in determining the outcome of criminal and juvenile cases because they have a great deal of discretion in deciding to charge someone or not, determine or influence bail decisions, hold control in the plea bargaining process, and influence sentencing decisions. Their role in things like child protection and other civil matters can have a great deal of impact on peoples’ lives. They also hold a very visible leadership position that can greatly influence how the community and other system actors view critical issues of justice, public safety, individual rights, and community wellness. Changes in their policies and procedures and how they lead can have a huge impact on thousands of Hennepin County residents and the health of our communities.

For more information on the office, view our webinar video below and join us and the Minneapolis Foundation for an educational forum on May 5th at 6pm. This is a great opportunity for community members to learn more about the office and those campaigning to fill this important role in our criminal legal system.

The Minnesota Justice Research Center (MNJRC) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to driving meaningful change to Minnesota’s criminal legal system through rigorous and community-centered research, education, and policy development.

Learn more at MNJRC.ORG.


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