Ladd honored to be appointed to MN Sentencing Guidelines Commission

Ladd looks forward to sharing a voice from Greater Minnesota in the commission.

Wadena County Attorney Kyra Ladd has been appointed to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Ladd replaces Washington County Attorney Peter Orput, who resigned Aug. 1, 2020, due to medical reasons.

Ladd doesn't mind that her already busy schedule will now have to make room for this new appointment. She said it is an honor to be selected for this position and she looks forward to the opportunity to lend a voice from Greater Minnesota to the St. Paul-based commission.

"There is a lot of things happening right now related to criminal justice and criminal justice reform and I think it's important to have, not only a voice that represents the county attorneys, but I also think it's important to have somebody who works and practices in Greater Minnesota," Ladd said.

While laws and rule making may be happening in St. Paul, the vast majority of the work done outside of the metro area is not the same as that of the Twin Cities or those counties within that area, according to Ladd. She sees this position as an opportunity to lend her unique perspective into the group from Wadena County and other more rural communities.

"The laws are supposed to be the same everywhere, but the people that are making the decisions about it need to understand how it works and what it looks like," Ladd said. "Sometimes theories and ideas are not how it really works out. I just feel it's really important to have Greater Minnesota represented with a voice in this because we have a lot of out-state counties that deal with stuff, have few resources and we're just kind of told what and how something is going to be."


She looks forward to bringing her ideas and experience to the table. One example she wants to look into involves the return of inmates to their county of residence towards the end of their sentence. While the idea is nice, the resources in a poor county are limited to actually providing inmates programs to better themselves. She compared a similar shift in guidelines for drug sentencing in 2016. The idea of reducing sentences and keeping the offenders local was "nice" but the county did not have the resources and has not received added funding to handle the shift.

Ladd feels that's a decision based on shifting costs to other counties rather than a decision that is going to produce positive change in the lives of those offenders.

"We shouldn't just be making decisions based purely on money, we should be trying to do things that make a difference so that people aren't necessarily coming back into the system if possible," Ladd said.

She'll be joining her first meeting with the commission on Oct. 8. At this time, they meet remotely, so she is able to tune in locally. She believes this is important work that she is willing to take on after hours in order to be a key part of the group. Their work goes on to the Legislature for action in the rule-making process.

"Ultimately it affects what I do here and it also affects the 86 counties across the state, too," Ladd said. "I think having a voice, and a voice from Greater Minnesota on that commission is important."

While she is just one voice among many involved in the process, Ladd pointed out that if people have a desire to see change, there are opportunities to get involved. The amount of government committees, boards and commissions extends across all topics at the state level.

To see where you might find a place to lend your voice to Greater Minnesota, visit the Boards and Commissions page at

About the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission

The MSGC establishes and modifies the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, which promote uniform and proportional sentences for convicted felons and help to ensure that sentencing decisions are not influenced by factors such as race, gender or the exercise of constitutional rights by the defendant. The guidelines serve as a model for the criminal justice system as a whole to aspire to as well as provide a standard to measure how well the system is working. The purpose of the guidelines is to establish rational and consistent sentencing standards that promote public safety, reduce sentencing disparity and ensure that the sanctions imposed for felony convictions are proportional to the severity of the offense and the offender's criminal history.


In 1978, Minnesota created the nation's first sentencing guidelines commission. The Commission is an 11-member body created by the Legislature to develop and maintain the Guidelines, a set of rules that judges must apply in felony sentencing.

More on Ladd

County Attorney Ladd serves on the Board of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. The association is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of 29 county attorneys, elected annually by the membership.

At the June MCAA Board of Director’s meeting, Washington County Attorney Orput announced his resignation on the MSGC, and the Board of Director’s voted to have Ladd replace Orput on the MSGC. Upon said recommendation, Ladd submitted a series of documents over several months for the Governor’s consideration to make the appointment. On Sept. 23, 2020, Ladd was contacted by the Governor’s Office indicating that Gov. Walz was appointing her to MSGC. Ladd will fill the appointment through Jan. 2, 2023.

Kyra Ladd - Headshot.jpg
Kyra Ladd, Wadena County Attorney

County Attorney Ladd stated that she is “humbled that my colleagues at MCAA recommended me to replace Pete Orput – Pete is a long serving and hard-working county attorney with brilliant legal mind.” Ladd went on to say that she is honored to be selected for this important role by Gov. Walz and recognizes the hard work that lies ahead for the MSGC, according to a news release.

Kyra Ladd - Headshot.jpg
Kyra Ladd, Wadena County Attorney

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