Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace and College of Legislation Launch Sentence Evaluate Partnership – Newsroom

Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace and College of Legislation Launch Sentence Evaluate Partnership – Newsroom

A brand new Minnesota legislation that permits for lowering sentences of incarcerated people has led to a brand new partnership between the College of St. Thomas College of Legislation and the Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace (HCAO).

The brand new Prosecutor-Initiated Sentence Adjustment (PISA) legislation that went into impact in Minnesota on Aug. 1, 2023, is already in place in at the very least 5 states. It offers prosecutors the authority to overview previous circumstances and sentences and advocate to the courts incarcerated people who they consider qualify for a decreased sentence or doable launch.

The College of Legislation and the Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace have established an workplace on the legislation faculty that may overview circumstances and develop suggestions for prosecutors, whereas giving legislation college students a possibility for hands-on studying. The collaboration will likely be funded by an nameless donor for 2 years.

Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace and College of Legislation Launch Sentence Evaluate Partnership – Newsroom
Interim Dean Joel Nichols

“Simply as we advocate for justice for victims of crimes and honest trials for these accused of crimes, our perception within the dignity of every individual compels us to advocate for equity in sentencing and punishment,” stated Joel Nichols, the interim dean on the St. Thomas legislation faculty. “This challenge permits St. Thomas to work on behalf of people that have rehabilitated themselves in order that they’re seen for extra than simply their previous prison acts.”

“Circumstances change over time and a few individuals in jail not should be there to guard public security or serve the pursuits of justice,” Hennepin County Legal professional Mary Moriarty stated. “It’s our duty as prosecutors to hunt justice. Defending public security doesn’t finish at sentencing. Extra individuals are serving time in jail for Hennepin County convictions than every other county. This new course of will assist us think about particular person circumstances in a good, clear means.”

Julie Jonas standing in hallway.
Legislation Professor Julie Jonas

Legislation Professor Julie Jonas is main the challenge on the College of Legislation. Previous to changing into a professor at St. Thomas, she labored because the authorized director for the Nice North Innocence Mission.

“We anticipate that this program will handle a big backlog of HCAO functions for PISA whereas additionally offering legislation college students precious expertise in information assortment and abstract, case evaluation and authorized drafting,” Jonas stated. “It should additionally be certain that worthy candidates for PIR have their circumstances screened in a radical, considerate and well timed method.”

St. Thomas employed two attorneys who will determine incarcerated individuals and circumstances for the Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace to rethink.

“This challenge is a good instance of the type of influence that we will have on the group whereas offering glorious instructional alternatives for our college students,” Nichols stated.