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Department of Human Services

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Constitutionality Of MN’s Sex Offender Program Questioned

Minnesota senators who met Monday at the Capitol say they must act quickly to modify the state’s sex offender treatment program before a federal judge does it for them. The judge has said lawmakers must alter the state’s system of keeping sex offenders in indefinite custody after they finish prison terms, or risk a ruling that it’s unconstitutional. Former Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson heads a task force that’s working to revise Minnesota’s sex offender treatment rules. “The way you are operating, it does not work because nobody gets treated, and nobody gets out,” Magnuson said. “And it is, in effect, a life sentence.”

11/18/2013

(credit: CBS)

Minn. Lawmakers Take On Sex Offender Program

A Minnesota Senate committee is holding a hearing on the legally imperiled Minnesota Sex Offenders Program. The Judiciary Committee convenes Monday morning at the Capitol. They’re scheduled to talk about an issue that’s likely to be a contentious one when the entire Legislature returns to St. Paul early next year.

11/18/2013

Prison, Amy Senser

Committed Sex Offender Kills Himself At Moose Lake

The Department of Human Services says a man committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program has killed himself. Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry says he died Saturday at the program’s Moose Lake facility. She says it’s the only known suicide in the history of the sex offender treatment program. Citing privacy laws, the department declined to identify him or say how he killed himself. Sex offenders who are civilly committed to the program when they complete their prison sentences are considered patients, not inmates.

08/05/2013

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Good Question: What Can You Buy With Food Stamps?

In an average month, 514,900 Minnesotans receive SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. The average monthly payment is $117.26 per person. In a visit to Bergan’s SuperValu, WCCO loaded seven items into a grocery cart – cookies, candy, ice cream, dishwashing detergent, hot macaroni and cheese, dog food and steak – to test shoppers on their knowledge of what’s eligible.

06/19/2013

Vital Signs

Judge Dismisses Challenge To Abortion Funding

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed the state of Minnesota has been wrongfully charged for more than 37,000 abortions for indigent women.

05/06/2013

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Minn. Project To Encourage Eating Fresh Produce

A pilot project this summer will aim to put more locally-grown fruits and vegetables on the plates of thousands of Minnesotans.

03/06/2013

Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul, st paul, generic, government

Some Lawmakers Want Minn. Agency For Youngsters

With added focus on the early childhood development, some Minnesota lawmakers think issues involved with that stage of life deserve its own state agency.

03/04/2013

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Sex Offender’s Release Prompts Backlash, Defense

State lawmakers plan to hold a special meeting Monday to try to close a loophole in the sex offender notification law. Republican leaders are hoping to pass a bill allowing the public to be notified before Clarence Opheim is released from a state hospital in St. Peter sometime next week.

02/19/2012

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Panel OKs Minn. Sex Offender Provisional Discharge

A panel of judges has approved the discharge of a 64-year-old pedophile from Minnesota’s Sex Offender program.

02/10/2012

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State Forcing Man With Cerebral Palsy To Retire

For most of us, retiring at age 65 is something we would welcome. That’s not the case for 64-year-old Charles Van Heuveln of St. Paul. Van Heuveln has cerebral palsy, and turned to a state run medical program to help him live and work.

02/08/2012

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Minn. Human Services Warns Clients Of Shutdown

The state Department of Human Services is notifying hundreds of thousands of clients that they might lose access to health care assistance and other services if Minnesota government shuts down on July 1.

06/14/2011