How Offenders Serve Sentences
In the 1980s, Minnesota moved ahead with a bold set of reforms that created one of the best correctional systems in the nation.
Determinant Sentencing: Offenders serve their entire sentence with no time off for good behavior. The first two-thirds of the sentence is served in a state correctional facility, and the final third is served in the community under supervision. Offenders who violate the terms of their supervised release may be returned to prison until their sentence has expired.
Community Corrections: In 1973, Minnesota legislators decided to reserve prison bed space for offenders who pose a threat to community safety. The Community Corrections Act allows for lower level offenders to serve their sentences in county jails or on public service programs in their communities. Department of Corrections resources are reserved for those with previous criminal histories and/or serious crimes against persons.
Innovative Programming: Since 95 percent of all offenders will eventually be released back into the community, the Minnesota Department of Corrections does all it can to help offenders transition back into the community as productive citizens. Chemical dependency treatment, education, vocational training and classes in cognitive thinking form the foundation of a programming regimen that is designed to keep offenders from committing new crimes after release.
75 percent of releases from prison will not return within three years for a new felony sentence.