Reducing Revocations Challenge
Ramsey County Community Corrections and the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice partnered to participate in the Reducing Revocations Challenge, a national initiative of Arnold Ventures and the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance dedicated to understanding the drivers of probation revocations and identifying ways to reduce them when appropriate. The project aimed to increase success on probation in Ramsey County through in-depth analysis of data from multiple sources and participation of local criminal justice and community stakeholders.
Minnesota has historically had a low incarceration rate compared to other states, but has utilized probation at a significantly higher rate. In 2016, while Minnesota had the fifth-lowest incarceration rate at 380 individuals per 100,000 adults, the state also had the fifth-highest community supervision rate, at 2,450 people per 100,000 adults (Kaeble & Cowhig, 2018). Given the high reliance on community supervision, it is imperative to develop policies and practices that promote the success of people on probation.
When someone has their probation sentence revoked, they serve part or most of their sentence incarcerated, making revocations a significant contributor to prison admissions. Ramsey County Community Corrections, the agency responsible for supervising people on probation in Ramsey County, partnered with the Robina Institute to identify changes in policy and practice that can reduce probation revocations and lead to better outcomes for individuals on probation while protecting public safety. Ramsey County Community Correction’s engagement in this project serves as a model for the state of Minnesota.
This project involved two broad questions. First, what is the pathway to revocation for people on probation in Ramsey County? This is a critical question because revocations are the result of a complex set of decisions and the process is unique to each probation jurisdiction. Second, what are the drivers of revocations in Ramsey County? The project used the results of the research to identify key areas that may be contributing to revocations or where people on probation may need additional support.
The project leadership team convened an advisory committee made up of practitioners, stakeholders, and individuals impacted by the probation system in Ramsey County to provide feedback and inform local strategy development. Project researchers used administrative revocation data, qualitative interview data, and legal and policy review to map out the revocation pathway in Ramsey County and identify opportunities for change.
Understanding Probation Violations and Disrupting the Revocation Pathway in Ramsey County, Minnesota
The culmination of this project included the release of a report on the local drivers of probation revocations in Ramsey County and how those drivers can be targeted to reduce them: Understanding Probation Violations and Disrupting the Revocation Pathway in Ramsey County, Minnesota.
Reducing Revocations Challenge Advisory Committee
- Judge Reynaldo A. Aligada, Jr., Second Judicial District, Ramsey County
- Prince-Andre Corbett, Ramsey County - Racial & Health Equity Administrator
- Gregory Ellis, MN Dept. of Human Services - Learning and Development Training Specialist
- James Fleming, Second Judicial District, Ramsey County - Chief Public Defender
- Corey Hazelton, Ramsey County Community Corrections - Assistant Deputy Director, Adult Services
- Zachary Hylton, Ramsey County - Senior Policy Analyst, Policy & Planning Division
- Lyle Iron Moccasin, Takoda - Takoda Works Recruitment Coordinator
- Scott Kelly, Second Judicial District, Ramsey County - Court Operations Manager, Criminal Division
- Monica Long, Ramsey County Community Corrections - Deputy Director, Adult Services
- Jessica McConaughey, St. Paul City Attorney's Office - Deputy City Attorney
- Malissa McCrea, Ramsey County Community Corrections - Probation Officer
- Lyndsey M. Olson, City of Saint Paul - City Attorney
- Cory Tennison, Ramsey County - Assistant County Attorney
This project was made possible with generous support from Arnold Ventures.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice