The Minnesota Department of Human Services is calling for an external review of the Minnesota Security Hospital after a violent sex offender was released from the hospital in St. Peter and left on a Minneapolis street corner because of a bureaucratic error.
"It is inexcusable and never appropriate to discharge a patient from any hospital, including the Security Hospital, and discharge them to a homeless shelter," Jesson said on The Daily Circuit. "He was discharged and that's where he ended up -- in a homeless shelter. Mistakes were made and those are inexcusable."
Jesson called the mistakes "system-wide" and said that the department's licensing division is looking into it and she is organizing an external review, which she expects to begin soon.
The fact that the patient was released, however, was not a mistake. "Our clinical staff, our psychiatrists, believed he really was ready to be discharged but the manner in which it happened was wrong," Jesson said.
Jesson also addressed an incident that occurred this week in The Minnesota Sex Offender Program, already the subject of a federal lawsuit.
A man committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender program committed suicide at the Moose Lake facility, the first suicide in the program's history.
"We're doing a complete investigation, there was another incident yesterday that we're investigating as well," Jesson said.
(The department later confirmed a Tuesday incident, saying there were no fatalities but there was a unit lockdown for about three hours in the afternoon. No other details were available.)
"The uncertainty around this program has caused increased anxiety and sometimes increased incidents at our Moose Lake facility. That's something we're taking very seriously."
Suicide attempts inside the Moose Lake facility are common, writes MPR News reporter Rupa Shenoy. Wallace Beaulieau, an offender committed to the program in 2006 after convictions for kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, said offenders attempt suicide after experiencing stress and frustration.
Jesson said the department's official numbers show fewer suicide attempts based on the information in clients' medical records. "I think our medical records can be trusted much more than one individual client's perception of what's happening," Jesson said.
The DHS is trying to negotiate a settlement to the lawsuit, which claims that the program does not provide real treatment, according to the reports.