Sentencing Data Overview

The State of Maryland has been collecting sentencing guidelines information since 1983. Sentencing guidelines worksheets are submitted for criminal cases originating in Maryland circuit courts. From 1983 to 2000, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) was tasked with the responsibility of collecting and analyzing the data extracted from the sentencing guidelines worksheets. In July 2000, this responsibility was given to the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy (MSCCSP).

Since its creation, the primary objective of the worksheet has been to collect information on judicial compliance rates for the sentencing guidelines. To achieve this goal, judges are asked to provide information on the sentence as well as its departure (if applicable). In addition to these items, the worksheet also collects information on offender characteristics, case identification, guidelines ranges, and victim rights information.

Each year the Commission undertakes an annual review of sentencing policy and practice and makes a report to the General Assembly in accordance with §2-1246 of the State Government Article on or before January 31. In addition to changes made to the guidelines during the preceding year, the annual report reviews judicial compliance with the sentencing guidelines, including compliance by type of offense and by judicial circuit.