Minnesota's process of rehabilitating its sex offenders does not seem to be working, and the individuals that have been branded with such offenses have filed a lawsuit to give themselves a better chance of one day leading normal lives again.
Currently, men and women that are deemed sexually dangerous are forced into the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. They are housed in a facility in Moose Lake. Right now, 669 sex offenders are a part of the program. All but one of them is male. In total, there are 17,500 registered sex offenders in Minnesota.
While this seems like a noble way to help rehabilitate those who are labeled sexually dangerous, the program simply does not work. This is seen in the fact that no one has graduated from the program since 1993. Right now, 10 offenders are in the final phase of the program and will then submit a petition to be discharged back into society.
Thinking they may be denied, several offenders have rallied together to form a class-action lawsuit that has forced lawmakers to accept proposals for less restrictive alternatives to the program. Recommendations will come from the Sex Offender Civil Commitment Task Force.
Even the deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Human Services agreed that the program needs to be changed. These changes could consist of diverting offenders to other programs or relaxing the requirements needed to release offenders back into society. The deputy commissioner said she believes the state would be able to follow through on the pending recommendations.
The deputy commissioner also stressed that the state needs to take into consideration the needs of those incarcerated, but also the overall safety of the public. Almost 75 percent of the offenders in the program are considered of the highest risk to re-offend.
Source: KAAL 6 ABC, "Inside Moose Lake, Sex Offender Vows to 'Sue His Way Out the Door,'" Mark Albert, Nov. 21, 2012
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