MNCASA is thrilled that in accordance with our policy agenda, the legislature created a Criminal Sexual Conduct Statutory Reform Working Group (CSCSRWG). This multidisciplinary group will be convened by Commissioner John Harrington of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (through OJP). We were successful in our efforts to include language requiring the working group to be inclusive of marginalized communities as well as victim and survivor voices. It is within the working group’s charge to address the definition of mental incapacitation to improve prosecution of some alcohol or other substance related criminal sexual conduct cases, the statute of limitations, and other issues identified by survivors and advocates.
The process by which this work will occur is in development, but the initial plan is for two committees (one of survivors and another of service providers operating within marginalized communities) to begin as soon as possible to create guiding principles and key issues to inform the entire working group. (There will also be a steering committee and members who are not specifically assigned to any of those three committees.) An initial CSCSRWG meeting will occur in August. We anticipate that the entire group will meet quarterly, with substantial subcommittee work in between.
Because DPS Commissioner Harrington has requested that we suggest potential invitees, MNCASA is seeking nominations and interested candidates for the following categories. (There will clearly be some overlap between categories.) In addition to a rural/urban mix, we are intentionally nominating as many people from communities of color, Indigenous, LGBTQ, Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, etc., as possible.
- Victims and survivors of sexual assault, with a particular focus on survivors from marginalized communities;
- Advocates and related service providers working within marginalized communities;
- Advocates with substantial experience working with victim/survivors in the criminal justice system;
- Representative from each coalition: MCBW, MIWSAC, MAC, MTSH, and MCA;
- Law enforcement, particularly Minnesota sex crimes investigators; and
- Prosecutors (city or county), public defenders and private defense attorneys, and judges with a comprehensive – and ideally victim centered – understanding of MN’s criminal sexual conduct statutes. If you have had contact with someone who you believe would be an asset to this multi-disciplinary work, we want to know.
If you are interested or would like to suggest a nomination, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. We have been given a very short timeline and need nominations by 9am Monday June 17.