Plans to move some of Minnesota's civilly committed sex offenders to a less restrictive facility are on hold this morning now that Gov. Mark Dayton has decided to halt any changes to the state sex offender treatment program.
A federal judge is considering whether that program is even constitutional since the current system essentially amounts to life-behind-bars for the nearly 700 offenders who have already served out their criminal sentences. The Department of Human Services had been trying to head off such a ruling by allowing the provisional release of some offenders and relocating others to a facility in Cambridge run by a non-profit organization.
Last week, a Republican candidate for governor criticized Dayton for allowing three offenders to apply for release.
In a letter yesterday, Dayton cited partisan politics as one of the reasons he's halting changes to the sex offender program until the Legislature can approve a broader overhaul of the system.
One of the key lawmakers involved in that effort is DFL State Rep. Tina Liebling, who spoke with MPR's Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition. Click the audio link above to hear their conversation.