News and Information

2018

  • November 5, 2018: The MSCCSP released Version 10.1 of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). MSGM 10.1 includes: (1) clarified instructions for scoring multiple prior convictions from a single criminal event; (2) clarified instructions for applying the multiple victim stacking rule in sentencing events involving multiple criminal events; and (3) an updated Guidelines Offense Table that reflects classification of new and amended offenses passed during the 2018 Legislative Session, as well as classification of one previously unclassified offense (providing an unlicensed loan).
  • October 1, 2018: The Circuit Court for Howard County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after October 1, 2018.
  • October 1, 2018: The MSCCSP invites public comment on criminal sentencing policy-related issues at its annual public comments hearing to be held at 5:00 pm on December 11, 2018. Those who wish to speak at the public hearing should register and submit written comments to dsoule@umd.edu by 4:30 pm on December 7, 2018.
  • August 31, 2018: Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 45, Issue 18). Public comments on the proposed revisions will be accepted through October 1, 2018. 
  • August 27, 2018: The MSCCSP is pleased to welcome Molly Triece, who is joining the MSCCSP staff as a Policy Analyst, Graduate Research Assistant. Molly is a doctoral student in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.  
  • July 1, 2018: An updated version of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS, version 7.0) was released for immediate use. Please see What's New in MAGS 7.0 for a description of these updates.
  • July 1, 2018: The Circuit Court for Worcester County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after July 1, 2018.
  • July 1, 2018: The MSCCSP released Version 10.0 of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). MSGM 10.0 includes revisions to the juvenile delinquency scoring component of the offender score approved by the MSCCSP and adopted in COMAR effective July 1, 2018. For additional details on the juvenile delinquency score revisions, see the June 2018 edition of the Guidelines E-News. In addition to the juvenile delinquency score revisions, the new manual includes updated sample cases, an updated offense table (Appendix A), and a revision to one of the victim information items that involves changing "Victim Non-participation" to "Victim participation" following feedback from practitioners to phrase the item in the affirmative. Finally, the updated offense table reflects minor edits and the addition of a previously unclassified offense (EC, § 10-439--Purchase, sell, transfer, or obtain stem cell material donated in accordance with EC, § 10-438 for financial gain or advantage).
  • June 1, 2018:  Following a study of the juvenile delinquency score component of the Maryland sentencing guidelines' offender score, conducted by the MSCCSP, in partnership with the Maryland Data Analysis Center (MDAC), the MSCCSP voted to revise the juvenile delinquency score. The revisions will be adopted in COMAR effective July 1, 2018. Because guidelines are often calculated in advance of sentencing, this information is being shared with criminal justice practitioners one month prior to the effective date for the revisions. Please review the June 2018 edition of the Guidelines E-News for further details.
  • April 1, 2018: The MSCCSP released Version 9.2 of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). MSGM 9.2 includes a policy statement that encourages judges to consider at sentencing evidence-based or innovative alternatives to incarceration that are appropriate for defendants based on their specific risks and needs. MSGM 9.2 also includes an updated Guidelines Offense Table to reflect the addition of CJIS codes for offenses amended by the Justice Reinvestment Act and for new and amended offenses passed during the 2017 Legislative Session. Please review the April 2018 edition of the Guidelines E-News for further details.
  • April 1, 2018: The Circuit Court for Wicomico County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after April 1, 2018.
  • March 30, 2018: Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 45, Issue 7). Public comments on the proposed revisions were accepted through April 30, 2018. 
  • February 1, 2018: The MSCCSP released an updated version (6.0) of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS). What's New in MAGS 6.0 provides a detailed description of these updates.  
  • January 30, 2018: The Maryland Data Analysis Center released its report providing an analysis of the scoring of juvenile delinquency history under the Maryland sentencing guidelines.
  • January 26, 2018: The MSCCSP released its 2017 annual report. The annual report reviews the activities of the Commission over the past year and provides an overview of circuit court sentencing practices for fiscal year 2017.  
  • January 5, 2018: Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 45, Issue 1). Public comments on the proposed revisions were accepted through February 5, 2018. 
  • January 1, 2018: The Circuit Courts for Dorchester County and Somerset County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after January 1, 2018.

2017

  • December 28, 2017: The MSCCSP submitted a study on alternatives to incarceration as required pursuant to the Justice Reinvestment Act (Senate Bill 1005/Ch. 515, Sec. 8, 2016).
  • December 1, 2017: The MSCCSP revised the Guidelines Offense table to reflect: (1) the addition of methamphetamine as an example of a Schedule I through V non-narcotic drug with a seriousness category classification IV for distribution, PWID, and manufacture; (2) classification of new and amended offenses passed during the 2017 Legislative Session; and (3) updates to the statutory code for motor vehicle offenses pursuant to the recodification of these laws in SB 165, Chapter 55. Please review the December 2017 edition of the Guidelines E-News for further details.
  • November 2, 2017: The MSCCSP is pleased to announce that Governor Larry J. Hogan appointed William (Willy) E. Koutroumpis to a four-year term as a member of the Commission. Mr. Koutroumpis was appointed as one of the two public representatives on the MSCCSP. Governor Hogan also reappointed Commissioners Brian DeLeonardo, Laura Martin, and Brian Johnson. Each of these appointments was for a term of four years from July 1, 2017. 
  • October 10, 2017: The MSCCSP seeks comment on proposed changes to the juvenile delinquency score instructions. The MSCCSP voted to amend the juvenile delinquency score by clarifying instructions in the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual and COMAR, adopting a five-year lookback window, and adopting an alternative scoring system. The MSCCSP invites public comment on these changes at the December 11, 2017, Public Comments Hearing. Those who wish to speak at the public hearing should register and submit written comments by 4:30pm on December 8, 2017. 
  • October 1, 2017: The MSCCSP adopted revised seriousness categories for select drug, property, and person offenses consistent with revised penalties pursuant to the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA), effective October 1, 2017. A detailed summary of the JRA-related sentencing guidelines and select criminal penalty changes is available HERE.
  • October 1, 2017: The MSCCSP released Version 9.0 of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). A detailed review of the updates to the MSGM is available in the October 2017 edition of the Guidelines E-News. 
  • October 1, 2017: The Circuit Courts for Kent County and Queen Anne's County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after October 1, 2017. 
  • September 1, 2017: The MSCCSP voted to modify the seriousness categories for select drug, property, and person offenses with revised penalties pursuant to the the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA, Chapter 515 of the Laws of Maryland 2016). The revisions will be adopted in COMAR effective October 1, 2017, coinciding with the effective date for the JRA penalty revisions, and should be used for cases sentenced on or after this date. Because guidelines are often calculated in advance of sentencing, this information is being shared with criminal justice practitioners one month prior to the effective date for the revisions. Please review the September 1, 2017, edition of the Guidelines E-News for further details on these pending revisions.
  • September 1, 2017: Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 44, Issue 18). Public comments on the proposed revisions were accepted through October 2, 2017. 
  • July 7, 2017: Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 44, Issue 14). Much of the proposed revisions are related to the corresponding penalty changes that will be enacted on October 1, 2017 pursuant to the Justice Reinvestment Act (Chapter 515 of the Laws of Maryland/2016). Public comments on the proposed revisions were accepted through August 7, 2017. 
  • July 1, 2017: The Circuit Courts for Caroline County and Talbot County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after July 1, 2017. 
  • April 2, 2017, In Memoriam: The Honorable Howard S. Chasanow, retired judge of the Court of Appeals and former Chair of the MSCCSP, passed away on April 2, 2017. As detailed in this obituary in the Washington Post, Judge Chasanow is remembered for his 28 years as a judge in Maryland and for his subsequent exemplary career as a professional mediator. However, Judge Chasanow should also be recognized for his significant contributions to the creation of the sentencing guidelines in Maryland, serving as the Chair and Vice-Chair on the Judiciary's Sentencing Guidelines Advisory Board (1978-1979, 1982, 1984-1990) and then furthering his commitment to the continued development of the sentencing guidelines by serving as a member of the Maryland Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy (1996-1999) and the MSCCSP (1999-2000), and as Chair of the MSCCSP (2007-2011). 
  • April 1, 2017: The Circuit Court for Washington County deployed the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for initiation and submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after April 1, 2017. 
  • January 25, 2017: The MSCCSP released its 2016 annual report. The annual report reviews the activities of the Commission over the past year and provides an overview of circuit court sentencing practices for fiscal year 2016.  
  • January 1, 2017: The Circuit Courts for Allegany and Garrett counties began utilization of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after January 1, 2017. 

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