Task force to study MN sex offender program

A federal court judge has ordered the creation of a task force to examine the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

In response to a class action suit by sex offenders, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Boylan directed Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson to set up the task force. It could include legislators, judges, county attorneys and lawyers representing offenders who have been civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Those offenders have completed prison sentences, but have been ruled in need of further treatment. More than 650 people are held indefinitely in prison-like facilities at Moose Lake and St. Peter. One offender was recently released to a secure halfway house.

Boylan wants the task force to recommend legislation that would that would reduce the number of civilly committed sex offenders in state custody. DHS deputy commissioner Anne Barry says while Boylan isn't breaking new ground, she hopes the task force will encourage legislators to act.

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