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Anna Hall

  • Hosted by The Legal Rights Center
  • Sponsored by Anonymous, Thomson Reuters
  • Service location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Law school The University of Michigan Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Anna (she/her/hers) advocated for low-income Minnesotans who were being subjected to unjust pretrial detention and cash bail practices using a combination of direct representation, data-gathering, and legislative advocacy. 

At any given time, Minnesota jails hold around 4,000 people who have not been convicted of a crime. Many of those people languish in jail simply because they are too poor to pay bail. In this way, Minnesota’s pretrial detention practices criminalize poverty. They also criminalize Black and Indigenous people, who are disproportionately represented in Minnesota’s jail population. Combined with the higher likelihood of conviction for pretrial detainees, these racial and economic disparities result in worse case outcomes for poor people and people of color in Minnesota. 

Currently, local advocates lack comprehensive data that would help them craft effective bail reform strategies. Without knowing exactly how the system is broken, there is no way to fix it. In order to agitate for more equitable bail practices, local advocates need information about who is granted bail and at what amounts; the number of people who cannot afford to pay for their freedom; and the collateral consequences of pretrial detention. Armed with more and better data, advocates can make arguments in court, craft Minnesota-specific bail reform campaigns, and lift up the stories of individuals in the state. 

Anna has witnessed the persistence, creativity, and commitment to real justice that lives in Minnesota communities. She is dedicated to standing alongside and amplifying the voices of those calling for change.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Anna:

  • Represented indigent individuals facing criminal charges and advocated for their release pretrial
  • Collected data on the use of cash bail and pretrial detention in the Twin Cities metro, focusing on the negative effects of pretrial detention on individuals and communities
  • Worked alongside advocates and organizers working for changes to the criminal legal system
  • Supported legislative efforts to reform bail practices in Minnesota

Every person is inherently worthy of a life that is meaningful, joyous, and free. No Minnesotan should be denied the opportunity to create such a life.

Anna Hall /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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