Newsmakers: Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Lunde on Juvenile Justice Reform
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Lunde sits on a task force working to help shape the future of juvenile justice across the state.
Lunde says the task force has helped open some eyes.
“We’ve learned a lot,” said Lunde.
Lunde said the task force also received testimonies from young people who went through the state’s juvenile justice system.
“We’ve learned that so much of the system is built on bureaucracy, not on the needs of kids. So when you put bureaucracy in there, you end with these two different paths.” Lunde said.
The task force found that youth don’t always get the treatment help they need.
“So if a kid needs therapeutic help and they get it, great. If they don’t, and they have, let’s say, a violent episode and assault someone, they end up in Corrections. You have these two paths and they’re not equal,” said Lunde. “Depending on which one the kid gets into can change their whole life.”
Lunde said he expects the task force to present its findings and recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature in mid-February.
“We’re looking at workforce development, we’re looking at asking the legislature to encourage but not preclude development of regional systems of care, like where counties can group up, and create these systems so that we know that community and families are involved, the outcomes for youth improve dramatically.”