Probation Revocations from All Sides - Probation, Prosecution, and Defense Considerations

While Minnesota has the sixth lowest incarceration rate in the nation, Minnesota’s community supervision rate is the seventh highest. In addition, probation revocations represent a growing share of prison admissions and are a key driver of Minnesota’s rising incarceration rate. Before revoking probation, the court must make findings on the Austin factors, which require the court to specifically identify the condition or conditions violated, find that the violation was intentional or excusable, and find that the policies favoring probation no longer outweigh the need for confinement. In this session, attendees will learn what considerations the prosecutor and defense should bring to the proceeding. This session will place particular emphasis on the third Austin factor and introduce the latest research about what works in probation, including the risk-need-responsivity principle, which matches the level of supervision and conditions to the probationer’s risk to reoffend and criminogenic needs.

This CLE is approved for credit through April 30, 2020.

The four panelists for the presentation will include different points of view from the position of a probation officer, a defense attorney, a prosecutor and a researcher.

Erin Harbinson | Research Fellow at Robina Institute
Erin Harbinson is a Research Fellow at the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. She received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. Erin’s dissertation examined the predictive validity of a correctional risk/needs assessment on white-collar offenders. Erin’s research interests are risk assessment, correctional policy, supervision and program effectiveness, and white-collar crime. Prior to joining the Robina Institute, she worked at the Council of State Governments Justice Center as a policy analyst, where she provided technical assistance to states implementing justice reinvestment legislation and data driven policies.

Jeff Edblad | Isanti County Attorney
Jeff Edblad has served as the elected Isanti County Attorney since 1994. He is an adjunct professor at Anoka Ramsey Community College and has served as a faculty member for a number of trial advocacy related courses for the National District Attorneys Association. Edblad served as Chair of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission from 2007-15 and as a member of the Commission from 2003-07. He served as the President of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association in 2017.

Deb Rambo-Bennett | Arrowhead Regional Corrections
Deb Rambo-Bennett is a probation officer for Arrowhead Regional Corrections in the Duluth office. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Mental Health from Concordia, St. Paul where she specialized in risk assessment and recidivism. She has worked in corrections since 2013 and has been a probation officer since 2015. She is currently a Felony Plus probation officer which means she works with offenders of all levels.

Susan L. Elias | 1st District Public Defender
Susan Elias is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. She has been a full-time public defender in the First Judicial District since 2006, first in Dakota County, and in Goodhue County since 2015. Ms. Elias is also a member of the public defense statewide DNA and forensics workgroup.

Kelly Mitchell | Executive Director Robina Institute
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 the Executive Director of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission from 2011 to 2014, and has also served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions (NASC) since the fall of 2011. From 2001 to 2011 Mitchell worked at the Minnesota Judicial Branch as a staff attorney and manager, 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.

CLE Credits:
2.0 Standard CLE Credits approved | Event Code: 256952

MSBA Members:  $49.95
Non-MSBA Members:  $84.95



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