Location: RM 271
Sentencing in Other States
SENTENCING IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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11:24 AM -- Sentencing in Other States
Mr. Bo Pogue, Legislative Council Staff, presented a memorandum comparing sentencing schemes in Colorado and other states (Attachment C). Mr. Pogue discussed the sources of data used in the memorandum, and its difference from data provided earlier in the meeting. Discussion ensued regarding changes to Minnesota's sentencing laws.
Mr. Pogue continued walking the committee through the memorandum. He also responded to questions concerning habitual sentencing in Nebraska. Senator Kagan and Representative Lee discussed habitual sentencing in Nebraska and Colorado. Mr. Pogue continued his presentation of the memo. Discussion continued regarding commissions established in various states that institute and amend criminal sentencing guidelines.
Ms. Alison Lawrence, Criminal Justice Program Director, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), presented to the committee on sentencing in other states (Attachment D). She mentioned NCSL publications that may be of interest to the committee, and online resources available for tracking criminal justice data. Ms. Lawrence provided information on different sentencing systems used by states, including how sentencing commissions operate in other states. In response to a question, she further explained a structured sentencing scheme.
Ms. Lawrence continued her presentation by discussing different sentencing options that are used by states. She noted the recent trend toward individualized sentencing, including an increase in presumptive sentences to probation. Ms. Lawrence discussed how different community supervision schemes work in various states.
Ms. Lawrence discussed mandatory minimum policies used in other states, and the results of those policies. She noted that some states have recently introduced statutory provisions that permit judges to sentence an offender to less than the mandatory minimum under certain situations, for example, in the case of "manifest injustice." Ms. Lawrence discussed how states calculate time served, including sentence credits, such as good and earned time, and parole or automatic release provisions.
Ms. Lawrence discussed "second look sentencing" policies, including an increase of states making changes to sentence credits retroactive. Ms. Lawrence explained mandatory supervision policies, such as Colorado's proscribed periods of parole after prison. She also discussed earned discharge, whereby offenders may be discharged from prison based on compliance with rules. She identified 19 states where state law requires programs that must provide the opportunity to earn time that is removed from terms of parole or probation.
Ms. Lawrence discussed funding reform and cost savings from certain sentencing reform initiatives. She explained that some initiatives will have up front costs and may result in later savings. In response to a question, Ms. Lawrence explained how savings and averted costs are calculated.
The committee recessed.