8 Ways Criminal Justice Professionals Reduce the Minnesota Crime Rate

Posted August 11, 2014 | By csponline

header image of minneapolis and police officer

The criminal justice system is a vital function of every state’s government, but in Minnesota it is particularly effective. Crime data for our state is very encouraging, with Minnesota ranking below the national average in violent crime, property crime and especially in crimes per square mile. With a national median for crimes per square mile at 39.3, Minnesota’s rate of 24 is much better than many other states. One of the contributors to Minnesota’s relative safety is the wide variety of criminal justice initiatives pursued by the state.

Minnesota’s commitment to public safety makes it great place for you to pursue a degree program in criminal justice, especially in an online format. At Concordia University, St. Paul, we are proud of our state’s strong criminal justice system and strive to prepare our students to become valuable members of it. This guide to key criminal justice initiatives in Minnesota can give you a sense of the ways that the system works to improve the lives of both individuals and communities.

The InnerChange Freedom Initiative

This program is a voluntary, faith-based prisoner re-entry program that helps reduce re-offense by preparing inmates for integration back into community life. It promotes positive values and educates inmates about substance abuse, victim impact, life skills, morals, community and religion. Although it promotes Christianity, the InnerChange program is open to both Christians and non-Christians. One of the best features of the program is that it matches each inmate with a community mentor.

Hot Spots Policing

This initiative is used by many police departments throughout the U.S. Hot spots policing strategies focus on geographic areas, usually in urban settings, where crime is concentrated. The goal of hot spots policing is to focus limited law enforcement resources on areas where crime is most likely to occur.

The Duluth Domestic Violence-Intervention Model

There are many intervention strategies for the treatment of domestic violence, but one of the most prominent clinical interventions is known as the Duluth Model. Originating in 1981 from the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, this intervention proposes that the main cause of domestic violence is a social and cultural patriarchal ideology that has historically allowed men to control women through both power and violence.

Project Northland

This initiative is a school- and community- based alcohol prevention curriculum series that aims to prevent and reduce alcohol use and binge drinking among young people. Its targets are middle and high school students, but in general Project Northland seeks to reach youth who are before or at the age of early alcohol use. It offers both prevention strategies and knowledge.

Minnesota Prison-Based Chemical Dependency Treatment 

The Minnesota Department of Corrections provides treatment for offenders who are chemically dependent or abusive. The primary goal of these programs is to reduce re-offender rates for those with chemical dependency issues once they return to their communities. Chemical dependence treatment is available in 7 of the 11 Minnesota state facilities that house male and female adult offenders.

Minnesota Prison-Based Sex Offender Treatment

This initiative is provided by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and offers treatment, therapy and transitional services to convicted male sex offenders currently in prison. It uses a cognitive behavior framework to provide long-term intensive sex offender treatment that is consistent with the risk–needs–responsivity model.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education + Play and Learn Under Supervision (DARE + PLUS)

This program is an enhanced curriculum tailored to middle and late elementary school students. Its primary goal is the same as the main DARE program: to prevent teen drug use by applying the same principles taught in DARE. However, this program is updated for a slightly older audience. It focuses on building students’ refusal skills and educates them on how to avoid peer pressure and cope with stress.

Minnesota Alliance on Crime 

The mission of this initiative is to provide a statewide alliance for crime victims and programs dedicated to their rehabilitation and recovery. It promotes the advancement of services in Minnesota through education, legislation and resources. Its goals are to protect victim privacy, improve restitution collection and connect victims with therapy resources.

All of these initiatives highlight how the Minnesota criminal justice system responds to and prevents crime. Getting involved in any of these programs is a great way for you to gain real-world criminal justice experience while you work toward your degree with us. Whether you are interested in beginning your criminal justice career with a bachelor’s degree or advancing your current career through our master’s criminal justice program, Concordia has the online education options you are looking for.

Also published on Medium.