Jesson names members of MSOP task force

Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson has named the members of a task force to examine the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

More than 650 people are being detained in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and were indefinitely civilly committed by courts after they served their prison sentence. One offender was recently released to a secure halfway house.

Several are part of a class action suit that led U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Boylan in August to order Jesson to create the task force. Boylan wants the 15 members to recommend legislation to reduce the number of civilly committed sex offenders in state custody.

Jesson appointed retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson as chairman.

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Others named include:

-- Donna Dunn of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault;

-- William Mitchell College of Law president and dean Eric Janus, who has compared civil commitment in Minnesota to life imprisonment;

-- Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin, who presided over the Franken-Coleman recount and was arbitrer in the 2011 state government shutdown.

A handful of state lawmakers on key House and Senate committees are also members of the panel.

The task force is due to begin working on Thursday and is supposed to deliver its first set of recommendations by Dec. 3.