As a matter of recent history in this country, we’re at quite an important moment, where the conversation and political attitudes towards criminal justice policy and sentencing policy seem to be shifting quite dramatically. Members of Congress and policy makers, law makers in state systems are talking a lot about the problems we have created through mass incarceration and mass punitiveness in other respects. This moment in history, I think is particularly fortunate and fortuitous for the Model Penal Code because we are arriving at the point of completion just as this new or changed national debate is occurring. – Kevin Reitz, Project Reporter

Project Timeline:

2017 – Remaining sections to be presented for approval at the Annual Meeting.
View the project’s proposed final Table of Contents.

2016 – Tentative Draft No. 4 – This draft revisits the general purposes of the sentencing system, victim compensation or restitution, and the consideration of criminal history in sentencing guidelines. Two new sections address credit for time spent in custody and restorative justice practices.

2014 – Tentative Draft No. 3– This draft addresses punishments other than incarceration, including “collateral consequences” that make it more difficult for prior offenders to advance toward a normal role in society.

2011 – Tentative Draft No. 2 (TD2)– This draft addresses sentences of imprisonment and mechanisms for prison release, including how a state should determine the statutory lengths of prison sentences for particular crimes; when life sentences without the possibility of parole should be allowed; mandatory minimum sentences (the draft opposes them); a procedure for later reconsideration of prison sentences longer than 15 years; and questions at both ends of the age spectrum: juvenile sentences and compassionate release as a possibility for elderly prisoners.

TD2 also includes the Appendix Reporters Study by Professor Reitz on the subject of Parole-Release Authority.

2009 – Council votes to accept the resolution of the capital punishment matter as approved by the Institute’s membership at the 2009 Annual Meeting, which reads “For reasons stated in Part V of the Council’s report to the membership, the Institute withdraws Section 210.6 of the Model Penal Code in light of the current intractable institutional and structural obstacles to ensuring a minimally adequate system for administering capital punishment.”

2007 – Tentative Draft No. 1– This draft addresses goals and institutional structure of sentencing system, including the purposes of sentencing; creation and operation of a sentencing commission; the purposes of a criminal sentencing system; how a guidelines system should function, and on the possible alternative of an advisory system.

2001 – Sentencing project approved to begin.


Kevin Reitz

Reporter, Model Penal Code: Sentencing

Kevin Reitz is the James Annenberg La Vea Land Grant Chair in Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. In 1993, he organized the pilot meeting of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, which has gone on to become a nationwide resource for states contemplating or undertaking the process of sentencing reform. He continues to work with NASC and with state sentencing commissions nationwide.

Cecelia M. Klingele

Associate Reporter, Model Penal Code: Sentencing

Cecelia M. Klingele is an Assistant Professor at The University of Wisconsin Law School. Her academic research focuses on criminal justice administration, with an emphasis on community supervision of those on conditional release. She serves as a faculty associate of the Frank J. Remington Center and the Institute for Research on Poverty, and a research affiliate of the University of Minnesota Robina Institute’s Sentencing Law & Policy Program.

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Updated Sentencing Black Letter Text

Model Penal Code: Sentencing Reporters have updated the black letter text of the Proposed Final Draft.  When any ALI project is approved at an Annual Meeting, Reporters will update the draft and make editorial changes that were directed or agreed to by the Council or...