Blending Sentencing of Juveniles in Minnesota: On Target for Justice and Public Safety?

Fred Cheesman II, National Center for State Courts
Heidi Green, Minnesota Supreme Court

The National Center for State Courts and the Supreme Court of Minnesota evaluated the practice of juvenile-inclusive blended sentencing in Minnesota (called Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction or EJJ). An EJJ disposition imposes both a juvenile disposition and a stayed sentence to the adult correctional system, the latter becoming effective only if the juvenile fails to meet the conditions of the juvenile disposition. The research examined the decision-making process that result in dispositions of Adult Certification, EJJ, or strictly juvenile processing for juvenile offenders by determining the influence of legal and extralegal variables at critical stages of processing. Selection models and multinomial logistic regression models were used to identify the factors that influenced (1) the decision to motion for EJJ status or adult certification and (2) the final type of disposition (Juvenile, adult or blended). Four principal findings emerged from the study: (1) region within the state influenced the prosecutor's motioning decision, (2) the offender's race influenced the probability of motioning and the type of dispositional alternative received (adult certification, EJJ or juvenile), (3) the EJJ disposition and adult certification are not targeting their intended offender populations, and (4) the criteria at motioning were different and independent of the criteria at dispositition.

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Updated 05/20/2006