How to Speak Corrections
A glossary of commonly used terms in corrections
Originally completed by Hennepin County Community Corrections Revised by Brown County Probation - Updated September 2003
Adjudicated-The term used in juvenile court to indicate
that a juvenile has been found to commit a delinquent act.
Admit-The equivalent of a guilty plea in adult court.
Usually the child's initial hearing at which time the court insures
that the child and parents understand their rights, the charge and
possible consequence. The child must admit or deny the charge at this
Apprehension and Detention Orders-Probation agents
have the authority to apprehend and detain adult and juvenile offenders
if they violate conditions of probation and/or are a flight risk.
They can be held for up to 72 hours and then must either appear in
court for the violation or be released as a discipline measure. M.S.A.
CHIPS-Children in Need of Protection or Services.
These are children whose cases have been brought into juvenile court,
usually by the social services agency, as the result of a dependency
or neglect petition.
Commitment-The legal action taken by the juvenile
court when it has been determined by the court that the adjudicated
juvenile should be placed in a state juvenile corrections facility
operated under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Corrections.
In doing so, the child's custody is transferred to the Commissioner.
Delinquent-A child who is at least 10 years of age,
but not more than 18 years of age who has committed an act that would
be a crime if committed by an adult. M.S.A. 260B.001
Delinquency-A term which describes a juvenile's
behavior that is judged to be anti-social or in violation of the law.
Deny-The equivalent of a not-guilty plea in adult
Dependency-A term which describes a child whose
parents are willing, but unable, to provide necessary care and supervision.
Detention-The temporary holding of a child, in either
a secure or non-secure facility, until the next appearance in juvenile
court. Typically a juvenile is held no longer than eight working days.
Detention Hearing-The hearing at which it is determined
by the juvenile court judge if the child is to be held in detention
until the next court appearance.
Disposition Hearing-The hearing at which the juvenile
court judge decides appropriate sanctions and probation conditions
for a juvenile offender. Similar to a sentencing hearing in adult
Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ)-This refers
to a juvenile who has committed a serious crime that had they been
an adult would be facing a prison sentence. The juvenile
must be between 14-17 years of age at the time of the crime.
The judge sets an adult and juvenile sentence and places them on juvenile
probation. If they violate the terms of sentence they
can be sent to prison. This type of case the juvenile can remain
on probation until they turn 21 (19 on all other cases). M.S.A.
Guardian ad Litem-A person appointed by the juvenile
court to represent the best interests of a child in a court proceeding.
Neglect-A term which describes a child whose parents
neglect or refuse to provide needed care and supervision of their
Office of Juvenile Release-The office within the
Minnesota Department of Corrections that serves as the 'paroling'
authority for juveniles who have been committed to the Commissioner
Parole-This refers to juveniles who are released
by the Commissioner of Corrections from the state juvenile correctional
facilities in Red Wing and/or the facility designated by the DOC for
female offenders. Similar to the status of an adult, who is released
from a state prison, these juveniles are supervised in the community
by juvenile probation officers.
Petition-the legal document which describes the
alleged offense committed by the child. Similar to a complaint in
the adult system. M.S.A. 260B.141
Pre-dispositional Report-Also known as a Social
History, this is a report to the court regarding the juvenile's criminal,
family, work, school/employment history along with recommendations
for the court to consider. Many times this is completed on more
serious offenders who have been adjudicated
Preplacement Screening Team-This is a group of professionals
familiar with child placement options who review potential out of
home placements for juvenile offenders. The probation officer
updates the group on what has happened in the community and what services
have been tried and what placement is being recommended. Typically
this group makes a recommendation supporting or offering other suggestions
to the probation officer and to the local Judge. M.S.A. 260B.157
Probation-Probation means a court ordered sanction
imposed upon an offender for a period of supervision no greater than
set by statute. It is imposed as an alternative to confinement
or in conjunction with confinement or intermediate sanctions. The
purpose of probation is to deter further criminal behavior, punish
the offender, help provide reparation to crime victims and their communities,
and provide offenders with opportunities for rehabilitation. M.S.A.609.02
Probation Officer-A professional who provides supervision,
holds offenders accountable, provides recommendations to the court,
provides a variety of reports to the court and counsels juveniles
who have been referred to the probation department by the Court, Law
enforcement, County Attorney, or another Probation Agency.
Reference-The legal procedure for determining whether
a juvenile's hearing case should be transferred from juvenile court
for trial in the adult court system.
Status Offense-Conduct which is illegal for a child,
but not for an adult, such as truancy, curfew, possession of tobacco,
underage use of alcohol, etc.
Stay of Adjudication-When a child has been adjudicated
delinquent, but the juvenile court has determined that the circumstances
of the case warrant the child being given a "second chance",
the court can suspend, or stay, the sentence. If the child satisfies
all conditions set forth by the court, the court can dismiss the charge
and there will be no record of the adjudication.
Termination-The order of the family court which
terminates the Parental Rights and the legal relationship between
parent/s and a child. This can be either voluntary or involuntary
depending upon the circumstances of the case and the needs of the
Trial-When the charge stated in the petition is
denied by the child and not dismissed by the juvenile court, the judge
hears and decides the case. Jury trials are not held in juvenile court.
Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLSI)-This
assessment tool is designed to aid professionals for assessing youthful
offenders. It is designed to determine risk and need level in
certain adolescent offenders. It includes a case plan and is
based upon the General Personality and Social Psychological Model
of Criminal Conduct (Andrews and Bonta, 1998; Andrews, Bonta, &
Challenge Incarceration-This is a fairly newly developed
program operated at the Moose Lake Correctional Facility by the Department
of Corrections which emphasizes discipline, education counseling of
convicted felons. Offenders may drastically reduce their prison sentence
if they qualify and complete this program, also called "boot
camp" M.S.A. 244.17
Community Work Service-A probation sanction under
which an offender is allowed "work off" his/her fine or
reduce jail time by volunteering for unpaid work or being supervised
by a corrections staff at a non profit agency such as a hospital,
nursing home, church, school, etc. for a specified number of hours.
Conditions of Probation-Community-based sanctions
imposed on an offender who has been placed on probation by the court.
These conditions vary widely depending upon the nature and circumstances
of the offense. Some common examples of conditions are; pay restitution
to the victim, complete outpatient chemical dependency treatment,
have no new violations for one year, report to your probation officer
as instructed, submit to random UA testing, serve local jail time,
pay fines and fees, complete and education class such as cognitive
skills, anger management, etc.
Correction Fee-A fee charged to offenders convicted
of a crime to offset the costs associated with supervision.
The typical fee for an adult offender under supervision to the Department
of Corrections is approximately $120 per year of supervision.
Day Fines-A type of fine where the amount the offender
must pay is based on their financial means, rather than a specific
dollar amount. Under a Day Fine system, an offender is sentenced to
pay a fine equal to a certain percentage of their income for a set
period of time. M.S. 244.164
Departures-The Minnesota sentencing guidelines provide
the court with a presumptive sentence for the convicted felon based
upon the current offense and prior record. The court has the
option to depart from those guidelines and sentence the offender to
more or less time than recommended by the guidelines; which is known
as a durational departure. For example, the court could sentence
an offender to prison, even though the guidelines indicate probation
is appropriate, or the reverse could occur which is called a dispositional
departure. The judge must put in writing their reason for the departure.
DOC-This refers to the Department of Corrections
which oversees the correctional operation of state run prisons and
state run probation services. The DOC is also seen as the agency
that develops standards and policies for correctional services.
They are not in charge of CPO counties or CCA counties, however, may
administer grants and provide assistance.
Electronic Monitoring-Rather than a confining a
convicted person in a county jail or workhouse, an offender may be
placed on electronic home monitoring. This may include a bracelet,
random telephone calls, alcohol monitoring or global satellite positioning.
This may be done on a pretrial offender, in lieu of jail, or as a
condition of probation.
Good Time-Offenders serving time in a local county
jail or a state prison, may receive up to one third of their sentence
reduced. Offenders may lose this good time if they do not follow
institution rules. Good time greatly assists the prison operation,
as offenders want to be released as soon as possible and therefore
do not want to lose this privilege. M.S.A. 244.05
Intensive Community Supervision-A highly intensive
program of supervision in the community for certain offenders that
may include sex offenders, repeat DWI offenders, violent offenders
released from prison. These programs are run by State, local
and private vendors under contract with the DOC. M.S.A. 244.14
Intermediate Sanctions-A sanction that is less severe
than straight incarceration, yet more stringent than straight probation.
Fines, community work service, electronic monitoring, etc., are all
Interstate Compact-This agency at the Department
of Corrections assists offenders who wish to leave the state of Minnesota
and reside elsewhere and for offenders who wish to move to this state.
Probation officers must submit a request and have it accepted by the
other state prior to an offender relocating. Many times this
can take months to occur.
LSI-Level of Service Inventory is conducted on many
adult offenders by probation staff. This is a validated assessment
tool that determines risk and need level.
Office of Adult Release-The office within the Minnesota
Department of Corrections which serve as the 'paroling' authority
for adult convicted felons who have been sent to prison.
Parole/Supervised Release-Since abolition of the
Parole Board in Minnesota, parole is now called supervised release.
It refers to the status of a convicted felon who has been released
from a state correctional facility. It is similar to probation in
that a supervised releasee has certain conditions, which he/she must
meet in order to remain in the community. These conditions, however,
are set by the Department of Corrections Office of Adult Release not
by the District Court. Violations of release are reported to the Office
of Adult Release by a probation officer, where a decision is made
as to the seriousness of the violation and whether or not to revoke
the release and return the offender back to prison.
Pre-sentence Investigation-The formal report prepared
for the court by a probation officer which provides various background
information Report and assessment data on a convicted offender, which
the court uses in deciding the appropriate sanctions and follow-up
treatment/programming needs of the convicted offender.
Pretrial Hearing-The first hearing where the offender
is explained the charge and release terms are discussed. This
is where bail may be determined along with release conditions that
could include electronic monitoring, supervision, drug testing, etc.
Restitution-A sanction ordered by the court as one
of the conditions of probation. It involves the payment of money
by the offender to the victim of the crime. The 1992 Crime Bill
gave victims the right to request restitution. Victims may be reimbursed
for property damage, loss of work, counseling, etc.
Revenue Recapture-A common practice in corrections
to collect unpaid fines or restitution. A report is filed with
the state that lists all unpaid fines or restitution. Any state
tax rebates are confiscated and sent to the county where the recapture
was signed until the total is paid in full.
Rule 25 Assessment-This is a chemical dependency
assessment conducted by a certified assessor who can also be a probation
officer. This assessor must use state guidelines in order to
determine level of alcohol problem the offender may have.
Sentencing to Service (STS)-A sentencing option
available to most Courts wherein a convicted offender "works
off' his/her fine by performing a specified number of hours of public
service work under the supervision of a work crew leader employed
by the state or a local corrections agency. Some courts also sentence
offenders to STS rather than jail or workhouse time.
Sentencing Guidelines-A system of determining and
setting out presumptive sentences for persons convicted of crimes.
Minnesota's Sentencing Guidelines apply only to felony offenses. The
guidelines, developed by an 11 member legislatively mandated commission,
determine which offenders should go to prison and for how long, and
which ones should remain in the community. The various recommended
sentences are set forth on a grid, which takes into account the severity
of the crime and the offenders criminal history. M.S.A. 244.09
Suspended Sentence - The court also has the option of imposing the
maximum sentence allowed by law, but then ordering that only part
of it be carried out. For example, on a first time DWI conviction
the court may order a $700 fine, but suspend $400 of it if the offender
agrees to perform 40 hours of Community Service, attend a DWI class
and commit no new offenses for one year. If the offender fails to
comply with these lesser, sanctions, the court has the option to lift
the suspension and require the offender to pay the remainder of the
Truth In Sentencing- Effective August 1, what now
is commonly referred to as good time, pertains primarily to local
jails and workhouses. Most prison sentences will be bifurcated, meaning
that the court will sentence someone to a specified period of time
in prison and a specified period of time on supervised release. For
example, if the sentence is 36 months, the court will sentence the
offender to 24 months in prison and 12 months on supervised release.
Institution rule violations can result in spending more time in prison
and less time on supervised release, but the total prison time and
supervised release time in this example cannot exceed 36 months.
Victim Offender Mediation-A process where the victim
of a crime and their offender come together with a trained mediator
to discuss the crime. This process is an attempt to restore
the victim and get answers to questions. This process is used
primarily for property crimes.
Work Release-For those offenders sentenced to a
county jail or workhouse who are employed or employable, and do not
pose a threat to the public safety, the sheriff or jail administrator,
they may allow the offender to be released from the facility in order
to continue their employment. The inmates return to and remain
in the facility at the end of each workday and on weekends. These
inmates are generally charged a fee to pay the costs of their room
and board while on work release.
Workhouse-A correctional institution operated by
a larger county or group of counties for the incarceration of persons
convicted for misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony offenses to
which the court has sentenced them for up to one year. The difference
between a jail and a workhouse is that workhouses hold only sentenced
offenders. In those counties that do not have workhouses, both pre
and post conviction offenders are held in jails.
Every county in Minnesota has one of three operations to run their probation system. These three include: 1) Community Corrections Act (CCA), 2) County Probation Officer (CPO), and 3) Department of Corrections State Contract Counties (DOC) M.S.A. 244.19
A. Community Corrections Act counties receive a subsidy from the state and are responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating both traditional and non-traditional local correctional programs. Each of these jurisdictions adopts an annual plan and submits it to the Department of Corrections. CCA counties comprise nearly 70% of Minnesota’s population. Smaller counties ban together and provide services to their region.
B. County Probation Officer The juvenile and adult misdemeanant probation officers are employees of the county and work at the pleasure of the Chief Judge. Each of these counties receives a subsidy from the state that pays up to one-half of the salaries of these officers. Felony probation and supervised release cases in these counties are handled by probation officers employed by the state.
C. State Contract The juvenile and misdemeanant probation officers are employees of the State Department of Corrections and work in an assigned county. The funding is just the reverse of CPO Counties in that the counties pay the state for up to one-half of the salaries of the officers.
CrimNet-CriMNet is an enterprise architecture that
puts in place a statewide framework of people, processes, data, standards,
and technology focused on providing accurate and comprehensive data
to the criminal justice community in the State of Minnesota. It provides
the means to put "the right data in the hands of the right people
at the right time and in the right place". http://www.crimnet.state.mn.us
Court Services Tracking System (CSTS)-This database
is used in nearly every county in Minnesota. This system tracks
client data, client contacts, client tasks, and allows for supervisor
reports. In the future, all counties will be linked through
Restorative Justice-An alternative way of thinking
about crime and criminal justice. Crime is considered a violation
of the victim and the community, in addition to a crime against the
state. The offender becomes accountable not only to the state,
but to the victim and community as a whole.
Sentencing Circles- Part of restorative Justice, sentencing
circles have been around for a long time in the Native American Culture.
Sentencing circles have many varieties, however it primarily runs by
having the offender, victim, community members, family of the offender
hear a case and sentence the offender accordingly. In some cases
a Judge sits in on these as well.
Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS)
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