skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 91243 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Guidelines for Sentencing Reform - The Minnesota Experience
Journal: State Court Journal  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1983)  Pages:9-16
Author(s): K A Knapp
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This description of the development of the Minnesota sentencing guidelines considers the legislative background, the prescriptive approach in guidelines development, the basis for sentencing, uniformity in sentencing, appellate review, and regard for correctional resources.
Abstract: The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission was established in 1978 by the legislature. The legislature determined that sentencing discretion would be exercised by the courts within the constraints of the sentencing guidelines, with parole eliminated. Matters to be resolved by the commission, subject to legislative review, included the relative weight to accord past sentencing practices and current correctional resources, the primary purpose of sentencing, and the extent to which uniformity in sentencing is desirable. The commission adopted a prescriptive approach to guidelines development, which involved a deliberate development of sentencing policy based on a thorough examination of policy issues and sentencing philosophies. Retribution was adopted as the basis for sentencing, with the severity of sanctions being directly related to the seriousness of conviction offenses and, to a lesser extent, the offender's criminal history. The commission also emphasized uniformity in sentencing, which achieved significant reductions in disparity in the first year of the guidelines. Appellate review of sentences has proven to be an essential enforcement mechanism for the sentencing guidelines system. The commission has also given consideration to the impact of the guidelines on correctional resources, as efforts are made to reduce prison overcrowding. A grid is provided to summarize the sentencing guidelines.
Index Term(s): Minnesota; Penalty severity rating; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing factors; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.