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Sex Offenders

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Inmates Seek Release Amid Sex Offender Program Controversy

In Minnesota, there are 700 sex offenders kept away in indefinite treatment, more than in any other state. A federal judge warned that some of those men need to be let go because parts of the program are unconstitutional.

03/17/2014

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Minn. DHS Sets Aside $1.8M For Sex Offender Review

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has budgeted $1.8 million for the possible costs of a court-ordered evaluation of the state sex-offender program.

03/17/2014

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As Sex Offender Program Marches On, Rising Costs

Minnesota lawmakers are getting nowhere over how to resolve constitutional questions about the state’s sex offender treatment program, but the same can’t be said about the program’s costs. They’re going somewhere — up. About 50 new patients enter the program every year, a growth rate that threatens to swamp existing facilities in the next few years. A Senate committee on Thursday will review a request for $7.4 million this year to renovate and expand the St. Peter treatment center; another $30 million or more is on the drawing board for future growth there and in Moose Lake.

03/15/2014

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Fixes Soon To Minn. Sex-Offender Program Unlikely

Minnesota legislative leaders sniped at each other Friday for a lack of progress in fixing the state’s sex offender treatment program despite a federal judge’s urging for fast action to correct it. Lawmakers acknowledged that no talks on the subject have occurred in about a month.

03/14/2014

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Inside The Razor Wire, Part 4: Lawmakers & The MN Sex Offender Program

Minnesota lawmakers have a difficult job ahead. They must decide what to do about the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, now that a federal judge has ruled that it is broken and in need of repair.

03/06/2014

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Inside The Razor Wire, Part 3: Dru Sjodin’s Legacy

The brutal murder of 22-year-old Dru Sjodin is one of the most notorious crimes in Minnesota history. Alfonso Rodriguez was convicted of raping and murdering Sjodin after she left work on Nov. 22, 2003.

03/05/2014

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Inside The Razor Wire, Part 2: ‘They Call It Guantanamo North’

Michael, an offender who molested a 10-year-old girl in 1998, served time in prison before being let out on probation in 2004. Then after five years of treatment on the outside, he violated parole and lied about it. He was then civilly committed.

03/04/2014

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Inside The Razor Wire, Part 1: Tour Of MN Sex Offender Program

WCCO’s Susie Jones begins a series of reports on the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, taking us “Inside the Razor Wire.” We begin with an exclusive tour of the Moose Lake facility.

03/03/2014

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Talking Points: Legality Of MN’s Sex Offender Program

A ruling late last week says the legislature needs to act to fix a draconian system that Minnesota uses to lock up more than 700 sexually dangerous offenders.

02/23/2014

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Federal Judge Lets Minn. Sex Offender Suit Proceed

A federal judge is refusing to throw out a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s treatment system for sex offenders and again suggesting he might scrap the whole program. A judge writes in a ruling that the lawsuit from residents of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program “easily survives dismissal” despite the state’s attempt to get it thrown out.

02/20/2014

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Judge Hears Arguments Over Sex Offender Program

Attorneys for residents of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program asked a federal judge on Wednesday to declare the program unconstitutional, saying that it is more of a prison than a therapeutic center and that it does not provide appropriate treatment to help its nearly 700 clients attain release.

12/18/2013

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Panel’s Recommendations For MN Sex Offender Program

There are about 700 sex offenders currently being treated in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. A federal judge has warned the state, that many of them are being detained for longer than they should.

12/02/2013

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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

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Dayton Wants Sex Offender Releases Halted For Now

Gov. Mark Dayton is calling on the Minnesota Legislature to take action and change sex offender laws in the state. At a press conference on Wednesday, Dayton and his human services commissioner addressed issues surrounding the current state of sex offender laws in Minnesota.

11/13/2013

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Some Sex Offenders Could Go To Less Secure Setting

Officials with the state’s sex offender program say six low-functioning offenders could be moved to a less restrictive setting if a court approves their transfers. The announcement comes as state Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson faces legal pressure to reform the two-decade-old sex offender program.

09/12/2013

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