Profile No. 31

Minnesota Anti-Violence Initiative (MAVI), Minnesota HEALS -- Minneapolis, MN

Program Type or Federal Program Source:
Program for surveillance of probationers.

Program Goal:
To monitor probationers' adherence to the terms of their probation and reduce violent crimes.

Specific Groups Targeted by the Strategy:
Adults and juveniles in pretrial and sentence status, on parole, or on probation.

Geographical Area Targeted by the Strategy:
Hennepin County, MN.

Evaluated by:
Internal data collection.

Contact Information:
Jim Robertson, Corrections Unit Supervisor
Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections
Adult Field Services Investigation Division
A­302 Government Center
300 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487
Phone: 612­348­9215

Years of Operation:

The Minneapolis Anti-Violence Initiative (MAVI) is a collaborative of the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, and the Minneapolis Police Department, and is modeled after Boston's Operation Night Light program. For the first time, probation and police officers work together to monitor both adults and juveniles who are in pretrial or sentencing status. The MAVI teams also respond to referrals from judges, probation officers, and pretrial and post trial sources. Priority is given to cases involving violence, weapons possession, and gang affiliation.

MAVI teams make unannounced "soft entry" visits (where consent is obtained) to the homes of selected probationers during the evening hours to monitor adherence to the terms of their probation. The most common violations found during these visits are possession of drugs or weapons and probationers under the influence of drugs. About 40 such visits are made each week by 50 probation and police officers. Police and deputies train with probation officers for 2days to learn about their respective roles in this operation.

The Minneapolis police chief believes the MAVI program is largely responsible for the drop in the city's homicides during the summer of 1997, which fell to 8 from 40 the previous summer. The former commander of the gang unit also believes MAVI has had a deterrent effect because probationers do not like being known on a personal level by probation officers and the police. In addition, as a result of MAVI the courts now place more stringent conditions on pretrial release, such as curfews and restrictions on visiting certain neighborhoods and associates. From June 1997 through September 1998, 1,644 MAVI visits were conducted, and from January through September 1998, 49 arrests were made as a result of the surveillance activities.

MAVI is one element of a collaborative, comprehensive strategy that was implemented in Hennepin County to address escalating crime rates. For more information and a discussion of how MAVI fits into the county's overall crime reduction strategy, please see profile 7, Minnesota HEALS.

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