"Hennepin County public defender clients with misdemeanor cases in Minneapolis soon can get free rides to court, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
The MacArthur Foundation, which focuses on social issues and is known for its “genius grants,” awarded the money to the county and city as part of a warrant reform project called Hitch Health designed to remove a barrier to defendants showing up for court dates.
The free rides will be offered beginning in January.
Jeanette Boerner, first assistant Hennepin County public defender, said economic barriers often keep defendants from going to court. It’s expensive to park downtown, they may not have a license or be able to afford insurance, or child care may fall through at the last minute."