Publish date:

Low-income suspects to get free rides to court under Minneapolis pilot

It's designed to reduce arrest warrants for failure to appear in court.
Author:

A new pilot program designed to reduce "failure to appear" offenses will see low-income suspects given free rides to court in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis City Council on Thursday accepted a $50,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to carry out the program through its City Attorney's Office.

Under the pilot, defendants charged with misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor crimes will be able to access free round-trip rides to court so they can make pretrial appearances provided their income is below a certain threshold.

Meanwhile, those charged with more serious crimes can get a free ride to attend meetings with public defenders.

The city says the goal of the program is to reduce the number of arrest warrants issued by the courts for failure to appear, and in turn reducing the use of city jails.

The pilot is projected to provide the funding for around 1,600 free rides until the money runs out.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

The Star Tribune reported in October, when the City Attorney's Office announced it had been offered the grant, that as well as helping defendants avoid additional charges, it will also mean less congested court schedules for city judges.

The City Attorney's Office says it has reduced the number of individuals being held in city jail cells on misdemeanor offenses by 53 percent since 2015.

Other measures helping this include a change in policy so that those accused of lower-level crimes who miss their first court appearance are offered an alternative date, rather than an arrest warrant being issued.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

robberies

Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.

MAHMOUD MOHAMED HAMADA

Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

Related

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis to provide lawyers to low-income renters facing eviction

The City Council unanimously approved a "right to counsel" ordinance.

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 1.19.47 PM

Mayor Frey proposes to scrap cash bail for low-level crimes

He's proposing an alternative plan to get defendants to court.

Appeals court upholds Minneapolis' $15 minimum wage

A local company said the city's minimum wage law conflicted with the state minimum wage.

Nice Ride bikes are back, and will be free on Earth Day

The ride-sharing service will go live this year on Monday.

Court: Mpls. can stop landlords from screening out Section 8 tenants

A district court judge had previously thrown out the ordinance.

Jayme Closs accused Jake Patterson makes first court appearance

Jake Patterson had his first court hearing to answer homicide and kidnapping charges.

1024px-Hennepin_County_jail

Coronavirus: Hennepin Co. to release some jailed suspects pending trial

There's a huge risk from coronavirus should it spread inside prisons and jails.