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Counter Stories: When probation leads to prison

The co-hosts of Counter Stories look at efforts to reform Minnesota's parole and probation policies

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A police officer takes a juvenile offender into custody after a probation violation.
Scott Olson | Getty Images 2010

Close to 100,000 Minnesotans are on probation, some of them for sentences of 20 or 30 years. And simple technical violations — such as missing a meeting with their parole officer — could land them back in prison.

According to a recent study, 31 percent of Minnesota’s prison population is made up of people who violated their probation.

Last month the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission approved a five year cap on probation sentences — but that cap is not retroactive.

In this episode of Counter Stories, the hosts talk with three guests who are working to reform Minnesota’s parole and probation policies.