Courtroom Debate Resumes Over Fate of Sex Offender Program

Judge to Rule in Oct. on Sex Offender Treatment Program

The federal judge who declared Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program unconstitutional says he’ll rule in October how the state must fix it.

Judge Donovan Frank signaled Wednesday that he would stop short of closing the confinement program now housing more than 700 offenders deemed a continuing risk to society.

Frank said during a hearing on potential remedies that putting offenders into the community immediately without proper transition services would be detrimental to them and the public.

State lawyers have refused Frank’s request to submit alternatives to the costly lockups in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

Dan Gustafson, an attorney for the offenders, says frequent risk evaluations and less-restrictive settings for offenders making progress should be instituted.

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