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NCJ Number: 140016 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Reform in Minnesota, Ten Years After: Reflections on Dale G. parent's Structuring Criminal Sentences: the Evolution of Minnesota's Sentencing Guidelines
Journal: Minnesota Law Review  Volume:75  Issue:3  Dated:(February 1991)  Pages:727- 754
Author(s): R S Frase
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 28
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of Minnesota's experience in developing and applying sentencing guidelines and of Dale Parent's book about the experience concludes that this experience reveals both the potential and the limitations of criminal justice system reforms.
Abstract: The State was the first to use a statewide sentencing commission, independent of the legislature, to draft and implement sentencing reforms. Guidelines replaced parole release with specified reductions in prison time for good behavior and provided for presumptive prison terms based only on offense severity and the defendant's prior criminal record. Parent's book clearly explains the commission's decisions and the most distinctive features of the Minnesota sentencing guidelines. However, some of his basic assumptions and therefore some conclusions are inappropriate. The Minnesota experience demonstrates that a system of presumptive sentences can work to narrow discretion, stay within prison capacity, and change the type of offenders sent to prison. However, the Minnesota Commission received too little time and money to address all the important issues carefully. Therefore, reformers in other States should set achievable goals and recognize that even the most modest reforms require a substantial initial and continuing financial commitment. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Presumptive sentences; Sentencing reform
Index Term(s): Minnesota; Sentence review; Sentencing commissions
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