News and Information


Guidelines E-News is a periodic newsletter delivered via email by the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. Guidelines E-News provides information on the system of voluntary guidelines for the State’s circuit courts and highlights changes to the guidelines. It also provides useful information on worksheet completion and submission.

E-News 2024, Volume 19

Number Date Topics Covered Download
1 February 1, 2024 New Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual; Animals not considered victims in the multiple victims stacking rule; Guidelines scoring for offenses with statutorily mandated consecutive sentences; Offense score calculation for offenses involving a feigned weapon; Guidelines scoring for PBJ pursuant to CP, § 6-220(c); 2023 Annual Report and updated Crimes of Violence Data Dashboard.




News Releases – 2024

  • June 17, 2024: The MSCCSP is pleased to welcome Anabella Nosel who is joining the MSCCSP staff as a Research Assistant/Faculty Specialist.
  • June 10, 2024: An updated version of the Maryland Automated Guidelines System (MAGS, version 12.0) will be released on July 1, 2024. What’s New in MAGS 12.0 describes these updates. Criminal justice partners may register for upcoming “What’s New in MAGS 12.0” training webinars on the MSCCSP Training page.
  • June 3, 2024: The MSCCSP released Issue 12 of the Sentencing Snapshot. Issue 12 examines sentencing trends in Maryland circuit courts for juveniles.
  • April 5, 2024: Proposed amendments to the sentencing guidelines were published in the April 5, 2024, issue of the Maryland Register (Volume 51, Issue 7). The proposed amendments replace references to “adjudication of guilt” with “adjudication”, “convicted offense” with “offense”, and “conviction” with “adjudication” or “offense” in instances where the intended meaning of “conviction” includes probation before judgement (PBJ) pursuant to either Criminal Procedure Article, §6-220(b) or 6-220(c), Annotated Code of Maryland. Additionally, the proposed amendments modify the guidelines offense table to add previously unavailable CJIS Codes. Public comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted through May 6, 2024.
  • March 15, 2024: The Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy (MSCCSP) is HIRING! The MSCCSP seeks applicants for a detail oriented and enthusiastic full-time Faculty Specialist/Research Assistant. The Faculty Specialist/Research Assistant will assist with the collection of sentencing guidelines data; prepare and distribute monthly and biannual jurisdiction-specific reports; and assist staff with various administrative and other tasks, such as the preparation of meeting minutes, memos and reports. The position is based at the University of Maryland in College Park and offers some opportunity for remote work. Those interested in contributing to the Commission’s work to support fair and proportional sentencing policy should submit an application through the University of Maryland application site.
  • March 1, 2024:  Access to the Maryland sentencing guidelines data just got even easier! Individuals interested in conducting analyses of the sentencing guidelines data may now download the available raw data directly from the MSCCSP website using the data download tool. The download tool and related materials describing the available data, including the data codebook, are accessible on the DATA page of the MSCCSP website.
  • February 23, 2024:  The MSCCSP Chair, Judge Dana Middleton, appointed Judge Melanie Shaw, Appellate Court of Maryland, to serve as the new Vice-Chair of the MSCCSP and also to serve as the Co-Chair of the Sentencing Guidelines Subcommittee along with Judge Brian DeLeonardo, Circuit Court for Carroll County. The Sentencing Guidelines Subcommittee membership continues to include returning members Richard Finci (criminal defense attorney), Robert Harvey (State’s Attorney for Calvert County), and Senator Charles Sydnor. The MSCCSP welcomes Judge Shaw and Judge DeLeonardo as the newest members of the Sentencing Guidelines Subcommittee and is grateful to both for accepting the Subcommittee Co-Chair appointments.
  • February 19, 2024, In Memoriam: The Honorable James P. Salmon passed away on January 17, 2024. As described in his obituary, Judge Salmon was a former Maryland Special Court of Appeals and Prince George’s Circuit judge. He also served as the Appellate Courts representative on the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy (MSCCSP) from 2014 to 2022. Judge Salmon was an incredibly thoughtful and kind individual with an amazing knowledge of Maryland law. The MSCCSP recognizes Judge Salmon for his more than 8 years of service on the Sentencing Commission. The MSCCSP expresses its condolences to all of Judge Salmon’s family, friends, and colleagues.
  • February 1, 2024: The MSCCSP issued a new version of the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines Manual that includes clarifying instructions that animals are not considered victims in the multiple victims stacking rule; newly adopted instructions relating to the guidelines scoring for offenses with mandatory consecutive sentences; modified instructions for scoring weapon presence points for part C of the offense score when the offense involves the presence of a feigned weapon; and clarifying instructions relating to the guidelines scoring for sentences to probation before judgment (PBJ) pursuant to Criminal Procedure Article (CP), § 6-220(c). The February 1 2024 Guidelines E-News contains additional details about these revisions, as well as acknowledgement of the MSCCSP’s 2023 Annual Report and updated Crimes of Violence Data Dashboard.
  • January 30, 2024: The MSCCSP released its 2023 Annual Report, which covers the Commission’s activities over the past year and reviews circuit court sentencing practices for fiscal year 2023. As required by CP, § 6-209(b)(iii), the annual report includes a detailed report on sentences for crimes of violence (COV). Information supplementing the COV report may be found on the recently updated COV Data Dashboard.
  • January 3, 2024: The MSCCSP is pleased to announce that Governor Wes Moore appointed Rodney R. Davis as the Commission’s local detention center representative on December 21, 2023.