Kevin Reitz

  • James Annenberg La Vea Land Grant Chair in Criminal Procedure Law
  • Dartmouth College, B.A.
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.

Office: 324
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor Kevin R. Reitz joined the University of Minnesota law faculty in 2005. He teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility. His scholarship is focused on criminal justice policy, including law and criminology. His recent book with Henry Ruth, The Challenge of Crime: Rethinking Our Response (Harvard University Press, 2003), considers issues of crime and punishment in American history, drug control policy, policing, gun control, and juvenile justice. Much of his writing has been in the field of sentencing law and policy, including 2005 articles in the Columbia and Stanford Law Reviews.

In addition to his research, Professor Reitz serves the criminal bar and the criminal justice community. 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 individual sentencing commissions nationwide. From 1989 to 1994, he served as Co-Reporter for the new edition of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Standards for Sentencing. In June 2001, he was appointed by the American Law Institute to be Reporter for the first-ever revision of the Model Penal Code, limited to the Code’s provisions on sentencing and corrections. This ambitious project has drawn wide attention from policy makers and scholars, including a full symposium issue of the Buffalo Criminal Law Review in 2003.

Professor Reitz graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1982, where he served as Comment Editor of the Law Review. Following graduation, he clerked for one year for Justice Jay A. Rabinowitz of the Supreme Court of Alaska in Fairbanks. From 1983 to 1988 he was an associate in the litigation department of Saul, Ewing, Remick, and Saul, in Philadelphia, where he handled criminal and civil cases. From 1988 to 2005 he taught at the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder. In 2002 he was visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, where he taught a seminar in sentencing policy and research.


Federal Defense Clinic

Criminal Punishment

Criminal Procedure: Investigation



  • American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment (Oxford University Press, 2018) (editor)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections (Oxford University Press, 2012) (co-editor) Joan Petersilia
  • The Challenge of Crime: Rethinking our Response (Harvard University Press, 2003) Henry Ruth

Journal Articles

  • Parole Release and Supervision: Critical Drivers of American Prison Policy, 3 Annual Review of Criminology 281 (2020) Edward E. Rhine
  • Prison-Release Reform and American Decarceration, 104 Minnesota Law Review 2741 (2020)
  • The Compelling Case for Low-Violence-Risk Preclusion in American Prison Policy, 38 Behavioral Sciences & the Law 207 (2020)
  • Measuring Changes in Incarceration Rates: Shifts in Carceral Intensity as Felt by Communities, 24 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 1 (2019)
  • Model Penal Code: Sentencing—Workable Limits on Mass Punishment,​ ​48 Crime and Justice​ 255 (2019) Cecelia M. Klingele
  • The Future of Parole Release,​ ​46 Crime and Justice​ 279 (2017) Edward E. Rhine & Joan Petersilia
  • Improving Parole Release in America, 28 Federal Sentencing Reporter 96 (2015) Edward E. Rhine & Joan Petersilia
    | SSRN
  • The Economic Rehabilitation of Offenders: Recommendations of the Model Penal Code (Second), 99 Minnesota Law Review 1735 (2015)
  • Demographic Impact Statements, O’Connor’s Warning, and the Mysteries of Prison Release: Topics from a Sentencing Reform Agenda, 61 Florida Law Review 683 (2009)
  • Don’t Blame Determinacy: U.S. Incarceration Growth Has Been Driven by Other Forces, 84 Texas Law Review 1787 (2006)
  • The Enforceability of Sentencing Guidelines, 58 Stanford Law Review 155 (2005)
  • The New Sentencing Conundrum: Policy and Constitutional Law at Cross-Purposes, 105 Columbia Law Review 1082 (2005)
  • American Law Institute, Model Penal Code: Sentencing, Plan for Revision, 6 Buffalo Criminal Law Review 525 (2002)
  • Lethal Violence in America: An Overview of the Colorado Law Review Symposium, 69 University of Colorado Law Review 891 (1998)
  • Modeling Discretion in American Sentencing Systems, 20 Law & Policy 389 (1998)
  • The Reactions of Criminal Justice Professionals to a Law Review Symposium, 69 University of Colorado Law Review 1217 (1998) Alice Donnelly Madden
  • Sentencing Guideline Systems and Sentence Appeals: A Comparison of Federal and State Experiences, 91 Northwestern University Law Review 1441 (1997)
  • Zimring, Hawkins, and the Macro Problems of Imprisonment, 87 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 604 (1997) (reviewing Franklin Zimring & Gordon Hawkins, The Scale of Imprisonment (University of Chicago Press, 1991))
  • The American Experiment: Crime Reduction through Prison Growth, 4:3 European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 74 (Sept. 1996)
  • Michael Tonry and the Structure of Sentencing Laws, 86 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1585 (1996) (reviewing Michael Tonry, Sentencing Matters (Oxford University Press, 1996))
  • Testilying as a Problem of Crime Control: A Reply to Professor Slobogin, 67 University of Colorado Law Review 1061 (1996)
  • The Federal Role in Sentencing Law and Policy, 543 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 116 (1996)
  • Building a Sentencing Reform Agenda: The ABA’s New Sentencing Standards, 78 Judicature 189 (1995) Curtis Reitz
  • The Cutting Edge of Sentencing Reform, 8 Federal Sentencing Reporter 64 (1995)
  • Epilogue: A Gathering of State Sentencing Commissions, 64 University of Colorado Law Review 837 (1993) Leonard Orland
  • Sentencing Facts: Travesties of Real-Offense Sentencing, 45 Stanford Law Review 523 (1993)
  • Sentencing Reform in the States: An Overview of the Colorado Law Review Symposium, 64 University of Colorado Law Review 645 (1993)
  • The American Bar Association’s New Sentencing Standards, 6 Federal Sentencing Reporter 169 (1993) Curtis Reitz
  • Clients, Lawyers and the Fifth Amendment: The Need for a Projected Privilege, 41 Duke Law Journal 572 (1991)

Book Chapters

  • American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment: Broadly Defined, in American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment (Kevin R. Reitz, ed., Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • Dominant Discretionary Decision-making. Discretionary Prison Release Systems in the U.S.: A Comparative Framework, in Offender Release and Supervision: The Role of Courts and the Use of Discretion (Martine Herzog-Evans, ed., Wolf Legal Publishers, 2014)
  • Comparing Sentencing Guidelines: Do US Systems Have Anything Worthwhile To Offer England and Wales?, in Sentencing Guidelines: Exploring the English Model (Andrew Ashworth & Julian V. Roberts, eds., Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Proof of Aggravating and Mitigating Facts at Sentencing, in Mitigation and Aggravation at Sentencing (Julian V. Roberts, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • Sentencing, in Crime and Public Policy (James Q. Wilson & Joan Petersilia, eds., Oxford University Press, 2d ed., 2011)
  • The “Traditional” Indeterminate Sentencing Model, in The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections (Joan Petersilia & Kevin Reitz, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • The Illusion of Proportionality: Desert and Repeat Offenders, in Previous Convictions at Sentencing: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives (Julian V. Roberts & Andrew von Hirsch, eds., Hart Pub., 2010)
  • Questioning the Conventional Wisdom of Parole Release Authority, in The Future of Imprisonment (Michael Tonry, ed., Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • The Disassembly and Reassembly of U.S. Sentencing Practices, in Sentencing and Sanctions in Western Countries (Richard Frase & Michael Tonry, eds., Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • Criminal Appeals in the United States, in Rechtsmittel Im Strafrecht: Eine International Vergleichende Untersuchung Zur Rechts-Wirklichkeit Und Effizienz Von Rechtsmitteln (Monika Becker & Jorg Kinzig, eds., Edition Iuscrim, 2000) (translated by Bettina Schutz-Garden)
  • Sentencing, in The Handbook of Crime and Punishment (Michael Tonry, ed., Oxford University Press USA, 1998)

Documents and Reports

  • Levers of Change in Parole Release and Revocation (Robina Institute of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, 2019) Edward E. Rhine & Kelly Lyn Mitchell
  • Model Penal Code: Sentencing: Report (American Law Institute, 2003) (Reporter)

Entries in Reference Works

  • Sentencing: Allocation of Authority, in Encyclopedia of Crime & Justice (Joshua Dressler, editor in chief, 2d ed., Macmillan Reference USA, 2002)

Other Publications

  • “Risk Discretion” at Sentencing, 30 Federal Sentencing Reporter 68 (2017) (Kern Keynote delivered Aug. 5, 2013, Minneapolis, MN)
  • The Status of Sentencing Guideline Reforms in the U.S., 10:6 Overcrowded Times 1, 8-14 (Dec. 1999), reprinted in Penal Reform in Overcrowded Times 31 (Michael Tonry, ed., Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • American Bar Association to Publish New Sentencing Standards, 5:3 Overcrowded Times 5-6 (June 1994), reprinted in Sentencing Reform in Overcrowded Times: A Comparative Perspective 17 (Michael Tonry & Kathleen Hatlestad, eds., Oxford University Press, 1997) Curtis Reitz

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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