Ex-City Council Member Gary Schiff to lead Council on Crime and Justice

Gary Schiff, the former Minneapolis City Council member and a candidate for mayor in 2013, has been named president of the Council on Crime and Justice.

He’ll take over the nonprofit, which was founded in 1957 as the Prisoner’s Aid Society and says it works to ensure “equal justice and improved public safety at the same time.”

Schiff will start the job July 1, and interim President Andy Sagvold will return to his job as the council’s director of programs and services.

Schiff was elected to the City Council from the Ninth Ward in 2001 and was re-elected twice. He easily won all three races. He ran for mayor in 2013, but dropped out when he didn’t get the DFL nomination.

Council on Crime and Justice Board Chair Tom Boardman said:

“Gary Schiff is a mission-driven and results-oriented leader with a proven ability to build coalitions and advance policy solutions. Gary’s background in elected office and in building nonprofit capacity will serve CCJ well during a time of changing needs for the criminal justice system in Minnesota.”

And Schiff said in a statement:

“The Council on Crime and Justice uses a highly respected model of independent research, advocacy and service that reflects my belief in holistic approaches to solving problems. I’m excited by the focused vision of the Council on Crime and Justice and the opportunity to help build a movement that succeeds in eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system and improving opportunities for all Minnesotans.”

The council says it has helped develop “new concepts and programs in alternative sanctions, offender services, victims’ rights, restorative justice and systems change.”

And it “pursues and advocates for fair and forward-looking methods to reduce and prevent crime and promote social justice.”

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