News and Information

  • 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. 
  • December 13, 2016:  The MSCCSP will hosted a public comments hearing on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee Hearing Room at the House Office Building in Annapolis, MD.  
  • November 1, 2016:  The MSCCSP released Version 8.2 of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). A detailed review of the updates to the MSGM is available in the November 2016 edition of the Guidelines E-News. 
  • October 1, 2016:  The Baltimore County Circuit Court began utilization of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after October 1, 2016. For more information on the MAGS application, please visit the MAGS page of the MSCCSP website.
  • September 20, 2016:  The MSCCSP reviewed the penalty structure revisions pursuant to the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA, Chapter 515 of the Laws of Maryland) and approved proposed revisions to the sentencing guidelines corresponding to the statutory JRA-related penalty revisions. The proposed revisions to the sentencing guidelines are expected to be adopted effective October 1, 2017 to correspond with the JRA statutory enactment dates. However, given the breadth of the changes and the general widespread expected impact, the MSCCSP decided to share the proposed revisions in advance of their enactment date. Click HERE to review the penalty structure revisions pursuant to the JRA and the corresponding proposed revisions to the sentencing guidelines. 
  • August 19, 2016:  Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 43, Issue 17). Public comments on the proposed revisions may be submitted through September 19, 2016. 
  • August 15, 2016:  The MSCCSP is pleased to welcome Jennifer Lafferty, who is joining our staff as a Policy Analyst, Graduate Research Assistant. Jennifer joins us from Thomson Reuters, where she worked as an Associate Editor. Prior to that she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Office of the Bronx District Attorney. She earned her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 2006. 
  • July 1, 2016:  The revisions to rows IV and V of the sentencing matrix for drug offenses were adopted in the Code of Maryland Regulations effective July 1, 2016. The revisions are intended to more accurately reflect sentencing practices, while also maintaining proportionality across rows and columns of the matrix. For additional details on the revisions, please see Vol. 11, No 2 of the Guidelines E-News. 
  • June 1, 2016:  In anticipation of the pending revisions to rows IV and V of the sentencing matrix for drug offenses that will take effect July 1, 2016, the MSCCSP released an updated version (8.0) of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual (MSGM). Please review Volume 11, Issue 2 of the Guidelines E-News for further description of the pending revisions to the sentencing matrix for drug offenses. 
  • June 1, 2016:  The MSCCSP released an updated version (5.0) of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS). Please review What's New in MAGS 5.0 for a detailed discussion of the MAGS 5.0 updates.  
  • April 1, 2016:  The Harford County Circuit Court began utilization of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after April 1, 2016. 
  • February 1, 2016:  The MSCCSP revised the Guidelines Offense Table to include two offenses that were recently classified by the Commission, as well as to reflect minor edits to the table, including updated CJIS codes. 
  • January 28, 2016:  The MSCCSP released its 2015 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 2015.  
  • January 22, 2016:  Proposed amendments to the Maryland criminal sentencing guidelines were published in the Maryland Register (Volume 43, Issue 2). Public comments on the proposed revisions were accepted through February 22, 2016. 
  • January 7, 2016:  The MSCCSP is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the Commission. Senate President, Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. appointed Senator Robert Cassilly to fill one of the two Senate positions. Additionally, Governor Larry Hogan appointed the Honorable Brian L. DeLeonardo as the State's Attorney representative. 
  • January 1, 2016:  The Cecil County Circuit Court began utilization of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS) for submission of sentencing guidelines worksheets for cases sentenced on or after January 1, 2016. 

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