On Friday, the Minnesota Senate passed Senator Mark Koran’s (R-North Branch) legislation reining in charitable bail organizations (CBO) that have been side-stepping Minnesota’s criminal justice system bailing out violent and repeat offenders who put victims and the public at risk.
“Over the past year, we have seen a spike of charities in the business of bailing people out of jail and bailing out criminals with violent histories with zero discretion or pause to consider the unintended consequences of their actions,” Koran said. “This has a disastrous impact across our communities and resulted in several violent incidents where offenders were bailed out only to promptly commit more crimes. The reform passed today ensures that these organizations are regulated and Minnesotans can see transparently what exactly they are accomplishing.”
This legislation requires that charitable bail organizations disclose a record of who was bailed out, who posted the bond, how much money was used, and the total amount returned to the CBO. People charged with crimes remain eligible for bail throughtraditional bail programs. This will only limit those criminals with aviolent history or charge from being bailed out by organizations dedicated to emptying jails.
This issue first rose to prominence when a story was published regarding the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) and its role in bailing out violent criminals during the 2020 Minneapolis and St. Paul riots. The leader of the MFF openly said he didn’t put effort into making sure he wasn’t bailing out violent criminals, going as far as saying, “I often don’t even look at the charge when I bail someone out.”
Among those bailed out was a suspect who shot at police, a woman accused of killing a friend, and a twice-convicted sex offender. Another report detailed a story of an offender who the MFF bailed out after a violent assault who promptly reoffended and beat a victim so severely they were left with a traumatic brain injury.