Community Justice Project

About Community Justice Project

The Community Justice Project partners with the Minneapolis Police Department to train volunteer mentors to work with men and women prior to their release from the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility and walk with them on their journey back to the community. The mentors help ex-offenders navigate through social service and government channels. They offer practical advice on job hunting, budgeting and housing issues.

In 2008, the Community Justice Project trained 112 mentors — more than 382 since the program began in 2003. Tracking shows mentors make a real difference in cutting back on return trips to prison.

In 2008, 135 felons were matched with a mentor at the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility and only 13 percent were re-incarcerated during the first year after release. That is far better than the average 52 percent of Minnesota inmates that end up back in prison the first year after release. Even more important, mentors improve public safety. Tracking shows that released ex-offenders who stay connected to their mentor commit fewer crimes overall after release.

Mentor

"When it came time to get out, I was really, really scared... One person CAN change one person's life. If there were more mentors, there'd be fewer reoffenders."

Deanne Macon, a former Hennepin County inmate and participant in the Community Justice Project.

A program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches