Published May 14, 2013, 11:01 PM
Sex offender change
"A federal judge says Minnesota must change how it deals with sex offenders who have completed their sentences, so the Senate Tuesday voted 44-21 to tweak the process.
Under the bill by Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, sex offenders would have a better chance of being released from a state treatment program. Just one man has graduated from the program.
A federal judge says the state cannot hold sex offenders indefinitely. If they are committed after finishing their prison sentences, the judge said, they must have a chance to be released from the prison-like treatment center.
The Sheran bill would establish a process where, like now, a judge would be able to commit a sex offender to the treatment program. But the offender would receive two hearings a year to see if he should remain in treatment.
“Once a person has completed their time for crime, they have the right to move forward,” Sheran said.""
MN Senate Approves Changes to MN Sex Offender Treatment Program
Senate passes sex offender legislation with bipartisan support
May 16, 2013
Sex offender reform put off
"A legislative plan to begin reforms to how the state civilly commits sex offenders will have to wait another year."
June 3, 2013
After legislative inaction, changes could loom for sex offender program
"ST. PAUL, Minn. — The future of Minnesota's sex offender program may become clearer this summer.
The state has long been criticized for its program, which indefinitely holds sex offenders whom judges in county courts think might commit new crimes, even after the offenders have served their sentences. Lawmakers did not change the program during the session that recently ended, and that could mean the federal courts will soon force the state to act."