Here are just some of the special initiatives of the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.
Runaway Intervention Project
The Runaway Intervention Project seeks to identify and serve runaway girls with carefully targeted, ongoing care by providers with special sensitivity to the girls' culture and circumstances.
Truancy Intervention Program and Family Intervention Program
The Truancy Intervention Program and the Family Truancy Intervention Program are early-intervention programs designed to improve school attendance of children 6 to 17 years old.
Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit
The Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit focuses on domestic assaults where children are present. It is a joint initiative with the Saint Paul City Attorney's Office. The goal is to break the cycle of violence that often grips families from one generation to the next.
Second Look Initiative
This innovative, collaborative effort with Ramsey County law enforcement agencies reexamines and prosecutes important criminal cases that initially are declined for charges. The initiative is intended to enhance public safety and community livability by developing these cases into successful prosecutions. This effort also will identify best practices for law enforcement and prosecutors, resulting in stronger cases and better use of limited resources.
Dangerous & Repeat Offenders Program
As some studies suggest that "7% of all offenders commit 70% of all crimes," we have reallocated resources to target career and repeat offenders to enhance their sentences for greater accountability for the crimes they commit. We will be reviewing cases from throughout every step of the process to see if the use of this State statute is appropriate for the offender and the crime.
Problem Solving Courts
The Criminal Division participates in both Substance Abuse Court and Mental Health Court. These programs were designed to hold defendants accountable as well as require them to address their chemical dependency and mental health issues that had an underlying effect on their criminal activity.
The Juvenile Division participates in the Juvenile Substance Abuse Court (JSAC), which began in 2001 and is the longest running problem solving court in Ramsey County. JSAC aims to reduce juvenile crime and alcohol/drug abuse by providing intensive judicial oversight and services and therapeutic interventions. JSAC’s objectives include:
- Providing comprehensive support services to prepare individuals to lead a life that is alcohol, drug and crime-free;
- Improving public safety and quality of life by holding participants accountable for their behaviors;
- Providing cognitive behavioral programming to develop critical reasoning and problem-solving skills;
- Utilizing the jurisdiction of the court to enforce directives related to recovery, restitution, school attendance, and behavior; and
- Providing access to programming that enhances the recovery process such as counseling, family therapy, and community activities that support sobriety.
The three goals of the program are:
- For participants to achieve at least six months of cumulative sobriety;
- Develop the skills necessary to complete high school and obtain employment; and
- Avoid further delinquent/criminal activity.
In addition to the RCAO, JSAC partners include two Juvenile Court judges, Ramsey County Community Corrections staff, treatment providers and a coordinator.
Prosecution of Gun Crimes
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office has specially designated and trained prosecutors and support staff to work closely with law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels to aggressively prosecute gun offenses and to utilize Minnesota Statute 609.11, the mandatory minimum sentencing provision, to the fullest extent of the law. Under this law, defendants face a minimum of three years in prison for a first offense and five years for a second offense. The County Attorney's policy tightly restricts plea negotiations.