Most Minnesotans believe that every human being, no matter their race or income, is deserving of dignity and redemption. Yet, in Minnesota, we have laws that criminalize and incarcerate high numbers of people, including Black and Native people, for choices made out of poverty or mental health illness. Too often, our prison system perpetually punishes people, not giving them opportunities for reconciliation, redemption or rehabilitation. Even now, people are being given death sentences because of a few making decisions about who and who isn’t worthy of health and safety.

But we know that when we work together across race and region, we can move our legislators to make just laws grounded in healthy communities of redeemed people, not punishment. We can safely release people to be at home, with their families, so that they can stay safe and our communities can stay healthy.

We’ve already decreased Hennepin County jails by 40%. If we can lower incarceration for the purpose of public safety and health for our incarcerated loved ones and selves in jails, we should do it for those in prisons as well.

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is quickly spreading throughout the United States, and people who are incarcerated are dying at alarming rates within our prison system. The fight is already underway at a Moose Lake facility here in Minnesota.

The people in minimum security live in 200-person dormitory style quarters, they eat together and sleep in one large room together. This makes for isolation and staying six feet apart impossible. The people who live here are trusted in our society and work jobs in our communities, in places such as Edina, Eden Prairie, Plymouth and Woodbury. They work in parks and community centers where children play. They are not a threat to the public. People in minimum security are already living with no fences or security, and with ankle monitoring bracelets, they are almost free… it’s time to let them come home!

We know the voices of imprisoned people are often silenced. Together we can speak up and speak loudly. Thank you for lending your voice – for those in minimum and EVERYONE who should be released TODAY from technical violators to ICE detainees to those who qualify for work release.

Phone numbers:
1) Governor Tim Walz (651) 201-3400
2) Commissioner Paul Schnell (651) 361-7226


Hello my name is (Name), the reason I am calling today is to ask for your help in releasing people incarcerated in Minimum Security facilities. COVID-19 is spreading and we have limited time before it gets worse. The people incarcerated in minimum security facilities are in danger and of higher risk to get sick. This is an issue of public health for all of us. Many of the people in these facilities were already going to off campus to work before the pandemic. We’ve already trusted them to be with us in society and it would be easy to release them given their current partial release into the public.

I propose they be allowed early parole, work release and released to stay at home, like the rest of us. Please release our loved ones immediately – and EVERYONE else who can be released by your authority, which is nearly 60% of our current incarcerated population.

Thank you for your time,