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CLE & Events

Probation Revocations From Both Sides- Probation, Prosecution, and Defense Considerations

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Venue: Minnesota Room / Dorsey & Whitney LLP  Minneapolis, MN United States  Get Directions
Total Price: $0.00

This CLE is co-sponsored by the MSBA Criminal Law Section and the Robina Institute’s In Conversation Series*.

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.

* Located at the University of Minnesota Law School, the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice is a mission-driven organization dedicated to engaging in original, interdisciplinary education, research, and policy analysis to achieve transformative change in sentencing and correctional policies and practices. The Robina Institute's In Conversation Series are public events dedicated to exploring issues in criminal justice in an in-depth and conversational way. We invite leading experts - practitioners, community members, academics, judges - to present information about a leading topic and to engage in conversation with each other. We then continue that discussion with questions and comments from the audience.


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.

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.  She also managed research projects for the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute and assisted criminal justice agencies with the implementation of evidence-based practices by evaluating correctional programs and conducting training for correctional staff on risk assessment, core correctional practices, and effective programming.  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.

Prosecutor | 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.  Additionally, Edblad was honored in 2014 with the Outstanding Greater Minnesota Prosecutor award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in 2011 with the Cambridge-Isanti School District 911 Friend of Education Award, in 2009 with the MCAA Johnson Distinguished Service award, and in 2008 with the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Julius E. Gernes Prosecutor Award of Excellence.

Probation Officer | 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.

Defense Attorney | Erin Carey | 1st District Public Defender

Erin Carey graduated law school  from William Mitchell School of Law in 2007. After working as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Richard C. Perkins in Carver County, she was hired as a full-time public defender in the 1st District in Dakota County but have been working mainly out of Carver County for the past four years. She has worked in public defense for nearly a decade handling mostly adult felony cases and specializes in DNA/forensic evidence and assists her colleagues in litigating these scientific issues.

Moderator | 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. She was elected President of NASC in 2014. 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.  Mitchell provided legal support to trial court judges and court administrators on issues ranging from criminal and juvenile delinquency law to court records access and fines and fees.  She also provided legal support for several Minnesota Supreme Court rules and policy committees, and in this role led efforts to fully revise the Minnesota Criminal Rules of Procedure and the Minnesota Juvenile Delinquency Rules of Procedure. She earned her J.D. from the University of North Dakota Law School, and has a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

CLE Credits:

2.0 Standard CLE Credits approved | Event Code: 251635 



To Register:

Click the 'REGISTER' button above. Non-MSBA members can also click the 'REGISTER' button and will need to create a login to register online. For ease, you can also email Kara Haro with your name and email address and she will register you personally.

Remote Participation: 

Remote participation is available for this event. Instructions will be emailed to remote participants the day prior to the CLE. 

Want more information about the Criminal Law Section
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Questions? Contact | 612-278-6329

If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event please notify Kara Haro at 612-278-6329 or  Please provide notification at least 72 hours prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to make arrangements for accommodations at this event.

No sessions have been associated with this event.