Hennepin County to hold Juvenile Warrant Forgiveness Day and Community Fair

Updated: September 16, 2019 06:43 PM

A first-of-its-kind program for juveniles aims to not only forgive them of non-violent crimes but also put them on the right path for the future.

Mark Kappelhoff works in the juvenile court system as a judge in Hennepin County.

For the past six months, he's worked hard on an event that will allow youth to clear their non-violent criminal history hanging over them.

"These would be misdemeanor cases," Kappelhoff said. "These would be things like shoplifting, disorderly conduct, very low level offenses."

Hennepin County to host its first-ever 'Juvenile Warrant Forgiveness Day'

In a new building on Penn Avenue in Minneapolis,12 judges will set up shop in three makeshift courtrooms.

They could be seeing lots of people, as there are roughly 700 outstanding youth warrants in Hennepin County.

"What I've seen is many children who are committed to turning their lives around and also looking for opportunities," Kappelhoff said. "And we're hoping this day will do exactly that."

Kappelhoff says in addition to forgiving offenses, there will be multiple resources for families.

"We also want to provide an opportunity for families to obtain services or learn more about services, such as educational opportunities, healthcare and job opportunities."

There will be consequences, and juveniles assigned community service will be able to fulfill the hours right there on site.

"The children who will have their warrant forgiven and get assigned community service will be assembling and painting those free little libraries as you see in the communities," Kappelhoff said. "They will put those together and then we are going to give those out as part of the day to have them placed around the community."

Kappelhoff says its a community-wide effort that he hopes will have a far-reaching impact.

The Hennepin Juvenile Warrant Forgiveness event will take place at 1256 Penn Avenue in Minneapolis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

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Jessica Miles

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