Panel calls for overhaul of Minn. sex offender law

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A state task force is recommending a major overhaul of Minnesota’s laws governing sex offenders with a goal of creating more options to get them out of forced, indefinite treatment.

The panel chaired by a former Supreme Court chief justice released recommendations to the Legislature on Monday. It says the Minnesota Sex Offender Program “captures too many people and keeps many of them too long.”

Among its recommendations is a centralized state screening process for enrollment in the program, and more frequent judicial review of patients’ cases. It also calls for the state to line up and fund legal representation for patients.

How to handle Minnesota’s unusually large population of civilly detained sex offenders has been a thorny political issue and is likely to be on the Legislature’s 2014 agenda.

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