The Saint Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

SAFETY ALERT: Your abuser can monitor your use of your computer and the Internet. If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, call 911, the St. Paul & Ramsey County Intervention Project at 651-645-2824, or the Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111 if you are in Minnesota. If you live outside of Minnesota call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

To better understand the steps of working with the criminal justice system in matters of domestic abuse, click on The St Paul Blueprint for Safety.

Donate Now

Saint Paul Blueprint for Safety

What happens after a defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty?

When a defendant in a domestic abuse case is found guilty after a trial or pleads guilty, before the defendant is sentenced by the court, the court will refer the case to Ramsey County Community Corrections. Ramsey County Community Corrections is commonly called Probation.

Probation has a Domestic Abuse Pre-Sentence Investigation Unit and a Domestic Abuse Supervising Unit. These units provide sentencing recommendations and probation supervision to offenders referred from court. The units works exclusively with offenders who have been convicted of violence against spouses or significant others. 

Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI)

Probation officers interview offenders and prepare reports for sentencing.  They will write a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI). The PSI puts the incident and the offender’s history into context. It helps the court to impose a sentence that takes into account victim safety, offender accountability and rehabilitation. It also helps the court consider whether the plea agreement is appropriate. If the offender is placed on probation as part of his sentence, it helps the probation officer who supervises the offender get a more complete picture of the incident. The supervising probation officer will look at the history of domestic abuse, your safety needs, the impact of the incident on you and the offender’s needs.

The PSI reports include the official version of the incident, prior criminal history, social history, drug and alcohol background, victim statement, and history of domestic violence. It also includes recommendations as to jail time to be served, if any, conditions of probation, no contact orders and restitution.

The PSI writer will contact you to get your input on the impact of this incident, information about any other abuse or violence used by the offender and whether there is a pattern of ongoing coercion, intimidation or violence. The PSI writer also will ask for your views on the sentence, restitution and conditions of probation. The PSI writer will ask about treatment services for the offender and whether or not you want limited or no contact with the offender.

If you don’t speak English, the PSI writer can access an interpreter to help you communicate with probation.

Your views on these issues go into the confidential section of the PSI. The complete PSI report, including information you shared with the PSI writer, will be sent to the judge who determines the sentence. The prosecutor and defense attorney receive a copy of the PSI without the confidential section. On the day of the sentencing the prosecutor and defense attorney, but not the defendant, get a copy of the confidential section. The confidential section is not supposed to be shared with the defendant. Be aware that although the confidential section of the PSI is not supposed to be shared with the defendant, it is shown to the defense attorney.

The PSI writer will confirm with you the date, time and place of the sentencing.

You can be present at the sentencing and you can present a Victim Impact Statement to the court. The Victim Impact Statement can be done orally or in writing. This statement is shared with the court, prosecutor, defense attorney and the defendant. The defendant will be able to read it or hear it. You can read a statement or have the prosecutor or an advocate read that statement for you. If you want help in putting together a Victim Impact Statement to be read in court, you can contact the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, 651-645-2824 or the victim/witness advocate from the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, 651-266-3222.

After the PSI is presented to the court the offender is sentenced. After sentencing takes place, and if the offender is placed on probation, a supervising probation officer will be assigned to the case. The case will be assigned typically in 3-5 business days.

Supervising the Offender on Probation

As soon as the supervising probation office receives the case, a letter is sent to you giving you the supervising officer’s contact information and asking you to contact the officer.

The supervising probation officer monitors the offender’s behavior.

The supervising probation officer investigates the offender’s background, assesses the risk of committing a new crime, and identifies those factors that should be addressed to prevent re-offending.  Educational programs, treatment, or other interventions targeted at changing behavior can be provided.

Offenders are supervised at a level according to the results of the investigation and assessment. Offenders are seen in the probation office or in their homes. Offenders are seen by probation anywhere from once per week to once every three months depending on supervision level.
All offenders are required to participate in and complete a domestic abuse education or counseling program.  The offender and probation officer work together to determine the appropriate domestic abuse program. 

The offender may be required to complete a chemical dependency and/or psychological evaluation.  The offender would be expected to follow the recommendations resulting from the evaluation.

The court may impose a no contact order prohibiting the offender from contacting you and from being at your residence. If a no contact order is part of the offender’s probation conditions, the order is monitored very intensively by probation. If the no contact order is violated, contact your police department.

Unless you ask not to be contacted, the supervising probation officer may contact you periodically throughout the probationary period to check on your welfare.

If you are in the Safe at Home Program, your address is confidential and you can give probation your post office box mailing address. You do not need to tell probation your physical address.

Information you give to the supervising probation officer is confidential and is not shared with the offender. Keep in mind that if you give information to the probation officer, and the officer acts on it, even if the officer indicates it came from an anonymous source, the offender may “guess” it came from you.

Offenders may violate their probation and serve all or part of their sentences if they: 

• do not complete their conditions of probation, 

• are convicted of a new domestic violence offense,

• do not remain law abiding, 

• do not meet with their probation officer as directed, or

• violate the no-contact order.

When an offender has violated probation there are a number of actions the probation officer can take depending on the offender’s behavior and whether it relates to your safety. The actions can range from increased reporting and monitoring to an order to detain and a probation violation hearing. The hearing could result in probation being revoked and the offender serving time in jail. If the probation officer decides to bring a violation to court for a revocation hearing, the officer will likely request a warrant for the offender’s arrest prior to the hearing. If the violation involves your safety, the offender may be held in jail without bail until the resolution of the violation.

If the offender acts in ways that affect your safety, violates the law, tries to intimidate or coerce you, threatens you with violence or acts abusively, you can contact law enforcement. You also can contact a confidential advocate at the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project for assistance.

If the offender violates a condition of probation you can call the probation officer and leave a confidential message. You also can contact a confidential advocate at the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project for assistance.

If you have concerns about a condition of probation such as a no contact order, you can call the probation officer and leave a confidential message. You also can contact a confidential advocate at the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project for assistance.

You may want to keep the supervising probation office informed of changes that affect your safety such as a change of address.

If you do change your address or phone number, you may want to contact probation so that the probation officer can keep you informed and get your input when issues arise.

The probation officer will try to notify you in advance when the offender is being discharged from probation or if the offender is in jail, when he is discharged from jail.

The St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project has confidential advocates available 24 hours and may reached at 651-645-2825.

<< The Saint Paul Blueprint for Safety