Minnesota lawmakers take on sex offender program

Published 9:40 am Monday, November 18, 2013

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota Senate committee is holding a hearing on the legally imperiled Minnesota Sex Offenders Program.

The Judiciary Committee convenes this morning at the Capitol. They’re scheduled to talk about an issue that’s likely to be a contentious one when the entire Legislature returns to St. Paul early next year.

A federal judge has put Minnesota on notice that its treatment program for sex offenders needs to be significantly changed or else could be dismantled by the court. The state has a long practice of keeping offenders in indefinite custody after their prison terms have ended.

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In the program’s 18 years, only one offender has been released.

A Department of Human Services task force is scheduled to release recommendations by Dec. 1 for possible legislative changes to the program.