Legislature leaves sex offender program untouched

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Legislature passed up a chance this session to rework Minnesota’s sex offender program, raising the possibility that a federal judge will rule it unconstitutional.

The program is meant to provide treatment, but it has released only one of about 700 people who are being indefinitely detained. The program costs the state $326 a day to hold and treat each offender, triple the average cost of keeping an offender in prison. The U.S. District Court for Minnesota is considering a class-action lawsuit challenging the program’s constitutionality.

Minnesota Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/ZoaEBo ) the court could leave the program as is or order changes, possibly under ongoing court oversight. The state could try to address some of the concerns on its own. Or the plaintiffs could reach a settlement with the state.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org

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