Creating Transformative Change: Robina Institute 10th Anniversary Series

Disrupting the Probation to Incarceration Pathway: Translating Research into Action

A street turn lane at dusk

Date and Time

- CST

Although probation is intended to help people succeed in the community, the reality is that probation can also serve as a pathway to incarceration. In Confined and Costly, the Council of State Governments (CSG) estimated that 45% of prison admissions nationwide are due to violations of probation or parole. In Minnesota, CSG estimated that proportion may be as high as 60% and also found that people who are Black and Native American are overrepresented in Minnesota’s criminal system. Thus, probation can be a pathway to incarceration that impacts Black and Native American communities more harshly than other groups.

In 2019, the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice and Ramsey County Community Corrections (RCCC) partnered together for the Reducing Revocations Challenge, a national project aimed at understanding the factors leading to probation violations and revocations. This webinar will detail the findings from the project as well as the recommendations developed by the project advisory committee for disrupting the probation to incarceration pathway in Ramsey County, Minnesota (located in the Twin Cities). This webinar will also describe the work currently underway to implement the recommendations, with a focus on how RCCC is working with its partners in the criminal legal system and members of the community to make systemwide changes with the goal of fostering greater success for people on probation. 

Webinar Format:

Introduction:

Kelly Lyn MitchellExecutive Director for the Robina Institute

What is the Reducing Revocations Challenge?

Victoria Lawson – Research Project Director for CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance

Leah Bower – Research and Evaluation Supervisor for Ramsey County Community Corrections

Major Findings:

Lily Hanrath – Research Fellow for the Robina Institute

Ed Hauck – Planning and Evaluation Analyst for Ramsey County Community Corrections

Responses to Findings – A Panel Discussion:

Kelly Lyn Mitchell 

Leah Bower 

Judge Reynaldo A. Aligada, Jr. – Judge, Second Judicial District of Minnesota

Corey Hazelton – Assistant Division Director of Adult Field Services for Ramsey County Community Corrections

Chris Mba – Racial and Health Equity Planner for Ramsey County Community Corrections

Lyle H. Iron Moccasin GCDF – Outreach/Re-Entry Coordinator for American Indian OIC/Takoda Institute

Biographies of Speakers:

Kelly Lyn Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and is also co-director of the Institute’s Sentencing Guidelines Resource Center. Mitchell was appointed Chair of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission in 2019 and served as President of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions from 2014 to 2017. Prior to joining the Robina Institute, Mitchell was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission from 2011 to 2014 and worked as a staff attorney and manager for the Minnesota Judicial Branch from 2001-2011, where she served as the Branch’s liaison to other criminal justice agencies and was responsible for several statewide programs and services such as drug courts, the court interpreter program, and examiner services for sex offender civil commitment exams. Kelly earned her JD from the University of North Dakota Law School and has a master's in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Victoria Lawson is a Research Project Director at the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance where she manages the Institute’s portfolio of work with cities working to measure and track equity and the equitable delivery of services. She also directs the Reducing Revocations Challenge and other projects within the Institute’s criminal justice portfolio, including additional work focused on community supervision and work related to the Rikers Island jails and NYC Department of Correction. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the Graduate Center of CUNY and an M.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Leah Bower is the Research and Evaluation Supervisor for Ramsey County Community Corrections.  She has over twenty years of evaluation experience in the government and non-profit sectors focusing on criminal justice, social services and education. She currently manages multiple criminal justice related research and evaluation projects both within her department and throughout the county including collaborative studies with external research partners. She is also involved in multiple county wide initiatives including developing system performance metrics and helping shape a public safety evaluation framework.  She holds a master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from American University and a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College.

Lily Hanrath is a Research Fellow at the Robina Institute. Her work includes a study on Mass Probation and Health, which identifies disparities in access to health care systems for people on probation, and the Reducing Revocations Challenge, which aims to identify drivers of revocation and, ultimately, lower rates through informed policy and initiatives. Lily received both her master’s degree and PhD from Pennsylvania State University.

Edward Hauck is a Planning and Evaluation Analyst for Ramsey County Community Corrections. With over ten years of experience in the government and criminal justice sectors, he provides expertise to the department in the areas of formative and summative evaluation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, performance and outcome measurement, data collection, and data systems. He is involved in the evaluation of a range of initiatives related to reducing utilization of confinement and improving success for people on probation. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Fordham University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Judge Reynaldo A. Aligada, Jr., Second Judicial District

  • Appointed in 2019
  • Advisory Committee Member, Reducing Revocations Challenge
  • Chair, Court Corrections Committee
  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
  • B.A., Saint John's University, Minn.
  • First Assistant Federal Defender, Office of the Federal Defender, Minneapolis
  • Associate Attorney, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP
  • Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael J. Davis, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, Minnesota Court of Appeals

Corey Hazelton is the Assistant Division Director-Adult Field Services and has been in this position since 2017. Through his role, Corey manages high risk field probation; as well as the Predatory Offender Registration Unit, Domestic Abuse Unit, and Unsheltered Population. He additionally manages Supervised Release, Intensive Supervised Release, and the Electronic Surveillance Program. Corey has been actively involved in the Reducing Revocations Challenge work since 2018 and has worked with the Ramsey County Community Corrections Department for over 26 years.

Chris Mba is a Racial and Health Equity Planner with Community Corrections. Prior to joining Ramsey County, he was a Sr. Trainer/Sr. Employment Counselor at HIRED for 12 years where he ran a very successful recruitment, training, placement, and retention program for individuals with prior justice system involvement known as Fresh Start for 4.5 years. Chris also provided employment readiness trainings at the Shakopee Women’s Prison where he helped prepare inmates getting ready to be released from the system with the skills necessary to obtain employment. Chris Mba has a Master of Science degree in Special Education and a Doctorate degree in Business Administration. Chris is also a Motivational Interviewing Trainer with Ramsey County.

Lyle H. Iron Moccasin GCDF

  • Outreach/Re-Entry Coordinator for the American Indian OIC/Takoda Institute
  • Enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
  • U.S. Navy – 1964 to 1970
  • Former New York City Police Officer
  • Advocating for the Native American Community since 1994, with a focus on Workforce Development and Re-entry.
  • Currently employed by American Indian OIC.

To learn more about the research phase of this project, read Understanding Probation Violations and Disrupting the Revocation Pathway in Ramsey County, Minnesota.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

1.5 standard CLE credits for attorneys were approved by the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education office. Event code #476739.

Speakers & Moderators

Kelly Lyn Mitchell
Executive Director, Robina Institute; Lecturer in Law, University of Minnesota Law
White man in pink long sleeved collared shirt
Edward Hauck
Planning and Evaluation Analyst for Ramsey County Community Corrections
White woman with long blonde curly hair
Leah Bower
Research and Evaluation Supervisor for Ramsey County Community Corrections
White woman with long brown hair and bangs
Victoria Lawson
Research Project Director for CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance
Man in gray suit and navy tie
Judge Reynaldo A. Aligada, Jr.
Judge, Second Judical District of Minnesota
White man wearing a black blazer and red shirt
Corey Hazelton
Assistant Division Director of Adult Field Services for Ramsey County Community Corrections
Black man with beard wearing white
Chris Mba
Racial and Health Equity Planner for Ramsey County Community Corrections
Indigenous man wearing black glasses, a white collared shirt, and a black vest.
Lyle H. Iron Moccasin GCDF
Outreach/Re-Entry Coordinator for American Indian OIC/Takoda Institute