Hennepin County Attorney’s Office environment and Faculty of Law Launch Sentence Assessment Partnership – Newsroom

A new Minnesota legislation that makes it possible for for lessening sentences of incarcerated individuals has led to a new partnership concerning the College of St. Thomas College of Regulation and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO).

The new Prosecutor-Initiated Sentence Adjustment (PISA) legislation that went into impact in Minnesota on Aug. 1, 2023, is by now in put in at minimum 5 states. It presents prosecutors the authority to assessment earlier conditions and sentences and suggest to the courts incarcerated men and women who they consider qualify for a lowered sentence or attainable launch.

The Faculty of Law and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Workplace have recognized an workplace at the law university that will critique conditions and create suggestions for prosecutors, even though giving law students an option for fingers-on studying. The collaboration will be funded by way of an nameless donor for two yrs.

Interim Dean Joel Nichols

“Just as we advocate for justice for victims of crimes and good trials for individuals accused of crimes, our belief in the dignity of just about every particular person compels us to advocate for fairness in sentencing and punishment,” reported Joel Nichols, the interim dean at the St. Thomas legislation school. “This undertaking makes it possible for St. Thomas to do the job on behalf of men and women who have rehabilitated themselves so that they are found for far more than just their previous criminal functions.”

“Circumstances adjust about time and some folks in prison no longer need to have to be there to guard general public basic safety or provide the interests of justice,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said. “It’s our responsibility as prosecutors to look for justice. Defending general public protection does not conclusion at sentencing. A lot more individuals are serving time in prison for Hennepin County convictions than any other county. This new system will assistance us look at specific conditions in a truthful, clear way.”

Julie Jonas standing in hallway.
Legislation Professor Julie Jonas

Law Professor Julie Jonas is foremost the challenge at the College of Legislation. Prior to getting a professor at St. Thomas, she labored as the lawful director for the Great North Innocence Challenge.

“We foresee that this system will control a massive backlog of HCAO applications for PISA while also offering legislation college students beneficial practical experience in knowledge assortment and summary, case examination and authorized drafting,” Jonas reported. “It will also assure that worthy candidates for PIR have their instances screened in a complete, thoughtful and well timed fashion.”

St. Thomas hired two attorneys who will establish incarcerated people and scenarios for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to reconsider.

“This task is a excellent illustration of the form of influence that we can have on the community even though delivering superb educational alternatives for our college students,” Nichols stated.

Sherri Crump

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