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SF 3975

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/17/2020 10:57am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to public safety; rejecting certain proposed modifications to the Sentencing
Guidelines relating to lengths of probation; removing authority for Sentencing
Guidelines Commission to establish guidelines on nonprison sanctions; requiring
Sentencing Guidelines Commission to submit proposal to the legislature regarding
lengths of probation; providing for collection of probation data; requiring a report
on probation sentences; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 244.09,
subdivisions 5, 6, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 244.09, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Promulgation of Sentencing Guidelines.

The commission shall promulgate
Sentencing Guidelines for the district court. The guidelines shall be based on reasonable
offense and offender characteristics. The guidelines promulgated by the commission shall
be advisory to the district court and shall establish:

(1) the circumstances under which imprisonment of an offender is proper; and

(2) a presumptive, fixed sentence for offenders for whom imprisonment is proper, based
on each appropriate combination of reasonable offense and offender characteristics. The
guidelines shall provide for an increase of 20 percent and a decrease of 15 percent in the
presumptive, fixed sentence.

deleted text begin The Sentencing Guidelines promulgated by the commission may also establish appropriate
sanctions for offenders for whom imprisonment is not proper. Any guidelines promulgated
by the commission establishing sanctions for offenders for whom imprisonment is not proper
shall make specific reference to noninstitutional sanctions, including but not limited to the
following: payment of fines, day fines, restitution, community work orders, work release
programs in local facilities, community based residential and nonresidential programs,
incarceration in a local correctional facility, and probation and the conditions thereof.
deleted text end

Although the Sentencing Guidelines are advisory to the district court, the court shall
follow the procedures of the guidelines when it pronounces sentence in a proceeding to
which the guidelines apply by operation of statute. Sentencing pursuant to the Sentencing
Guidelines is not a right that accrues to a person convicted of a felony; it is a procedure
based on state public policy to maintain uniformity, proportionality, rationality, and
predictability in sentencing.

In establishing and modifying the Sentencing Guidelines, the primary consideration of
the commission shall be public safety. The commission shall also consider current sentencing
and release practices; correctional resources, including but not limited to the capacities of
local and state correctional facilities; and the long-term negative impact of the crime on the
community.

The provisions of sections 14.001 to 14.69 do not apply to the promulgation of the
Sentencing Guidelines, and the Sentencing Guidelines, including severity levels and criminal
history scores, are not subject to review by the legislative commission to review
administrative rules. However, the commission shall adopt rules pursuant to sections 14.001
to 14.69 which establish procedures for the promulgation of the Sentencing Guidelines,
including procedures for the promulgation of severity levels and criminal history scores,
and these rules shall be subject to review by the Legislative Coordinating Commission.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 244.09, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Clearinghouse and information center.

The commission, in addition to
establishing Sentencing Guidelines, shall serve as a clearinghouse and information center
for the collection, preparation, analysis and dissemination of information on state and local
sentencing new text beginand probation new text endpractices, and shall conduct ongoing research regarding Sentencing
Guidelines, use of imprisonment and alternatives to imprisonment, new text beginprobation terms,
conditions of probation, probation revocations, early discharge of probation,
new text endplea bargaining,
and other matters relating to the improvement of the criminal justice system. The commission
shall from time to time make recommendations to the legislature regarding changes in the
Criminal Code, criminal procedures, and other aspects of sentencingnew text begin and probationnew text end.

This information shall include information regarding the impact of statutory changes to
the state's criminal laws related to controlled substances, including those changes enacted
by the legislature in Laws 2016, chapter 160.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 244.09, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 15. new text end

new text begin Report on probation. new text end

new text begin The commission shall include in its annual report to
the legislature a summary and analysis of the average time offenders serve on probation.
The report must disaggregate data for each judicial district by the announced duration of
probation, rate of departure from presumptive prison sentences, rate of revocation of
probation, period of probation served before revocation, rate of early discharge of probation,
period of probation served before early discharge, and average length of probation actually
served by offenders who successfully complete probation.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginMODIFICATIONS TO SENTENCING GUIDELINES REJECTED.
new text end

new text begin The modifications to the Sentencing Guidelines relating to probation terms proposed in
the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission's 2020 report to the legislature and
contained in appendix 2.3 are rejected and do not take effect.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 5. new text beginPROBATION PROPOSAL REQUIRED.
new text end

new text begin (a) The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission shall comprehensively review
issues involving conditions and lengths of stayed sentences and probation and develop a
proposal to modify the Sentencing Guidelines that includes presumptive lengths by range
for stayed sentences based on reasonable offense and offender characteristics and expressed
in an easily understandable manner. The proposal must delineate presumptive lengths by
use of a grid format, if feasible. The proposal must ensure public safety and proportionality
in sentencing based on the severity of the offense and the offender's history. In addition,
the proposal must provide for departures in appropriate circumstances and enumerate
permissible grounds for departures, including by agreement of the parties. The proposal
must also allow for the extension of the length of a stayed sentence for situations involving
public safety, treatment completion, and payment of restitution.
new text end

new text begin (b) By January 15, 2022, the commission shall submit the proposal to the chairs and
ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over criminal
justice policy and finance.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the commission determines that statutory amendments and modifications to the
Sentencing Guidelines are necessary to best effectuate the proposal, the proposal must
include draft legislation to make the recommended statutory changes.
new text end

new text begin (d) Any modifications to the Sentencing Guidelines in the proposal do not take effect
unless the legislature approves the modifications by law.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end