How Supervision Works
The Minnesota Department of Corrections supervises two types of offenders:
- Felony offenders who have served the mandatory two-thirds of their prison sentence who have been released from prison and
- Probationers who were not committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections but reside in counties that do not find it practical to operate a local supervision program.
Minnesota uses determinant sentencing. Under this system, there is no parole board and no time off for good behavior. Offenders serve two-thirds of their prison sentence incarcerated and the remaining third on supervised release.
Every offender on supervised release follows conditions such as having an approved residence, submitting to regular drug and alcohol tests, restrictions against accessing the Internet, and in some cases electronic monitoring. If an offender violates the conditions of their release, a warrant will be issued and the offender will be taken into custody. The case will be reviewed to determine how severe the violation was and what action should be taken as a result. For some technical violations, an offender will have their release conditions restructured before being released back into the community to continue on supervision.
However, more severe violations will require the offender to be brought back to prison. The DOC has the legal authority to bring offenders under supervision back to prison as long as the court-imposed sentence is in effect. The DOC does not have the authority to hold an offender beyond the expiration of their sentence.
In addition to supervising offenders who have been released from prison, the DOC also supervises probation cases in some counties. Probation is used as a alternative to incarceration. If someone violates their probation conditions, the case is referred back to the sentencing judge for review, and in some cases prison time may be imposed.