MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Today, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission voted to advance a presumptive five year probation cap. Unless the Legislature intervenes, this change will automatically take effect in August. Rep. Jamie Long (DFL – Minneapolis) released the following statement in response:
“Today, Commissioner Schnell and the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission took meaningful action to make Minnesota’s probation system more just and effective. I’m grateful for their leadership and for all of the people who shared their stories and advocated to cap probation so that others could have opportunities that they were denied.
“Minnesota’s probation system is failing basic tests of fairness. Sentences for the same charges vary widely due to geographic and racial disparities, and far too many Minnesotans receive excessive probation terms that bar them from voting, traveling, and participating in community life for decades. Capping probation is an important step towards building a criminal justice system that is designed to help people rehabilitate and rejoin their communities.”
Last year, Rep. Long introduced legislation to cap probation at five years. His bill received bipartisan support from county attorneys, public defenders, probation officers, and civil rights groups and passed the Minnesota House of Representatives.