Democratic Governor Tim Walz has called together a special commission to examine how probation works in Minnesota — and expect vigorous disagreements when that group begins meeting.   Co-chair, Republican Senator Julie Rosen from Fairmont says there’s been a “soft on crime” approach from the governor:

“Community supervision doesn’t necessarily mean early release to me, or soft on crime.  And I think that’s where we’re gonna have our first discussion.”

Governor Walz says the state “must deal with crime and violence in ways that are grounded in data and research, not politics.”  He says the state’s probation system has become increasingly inequitable for Minnesotans of color.

Co-chair, Republican Senator Julie Rosen from Fairmont says she agrees there should be more substance abuse and mental health programs for those in the criminal justice system — however…

“A lot of those services need to be while people are incarcerated in jail, because you send them out and there is no guarantee that they’re going to be  getting the correct services.”

Rosen points to the Yellow Line Project which started in Blue Earth County, which does mental health assessments *before* someone convicted of a crime goes into jail.