Senator Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato) presented legislation today that continued the state’s discussion on the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The senator’s legislation is a response to a 2012 US District Court order and reflects work done by the Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force.
“The Court has made it clear that we need to take action,” said Sen. Sheran. “We have an opportunity to change the way we operate our system and ensure that these strict and intensive programs continue to protect the public while making the changes the Court requires.”
The Court’s mandate, handed down last summer, is forcing the Legislature to re-evaluate the program and propose strict and intensive alternatives to the current treatment programs in Moose Lake and Saint Peter. Senator Sheran and other Senate leaders have taken on the difficult balancing act of crafting a bill that establishes intensive, more cost-effective alternatives, while keeping Minnesotans safe.
“This legislation is not the final answer to this difficult question, but it is a step towards answering the Court’s concerns,” said Sen. Sheran. “If we do nothing, the Court has the ability to impose any number of conditions on the state including, ordering closure of the entire program or taking over the program at the State’s expense. These are two options that I would like to avoid.”
The legislation was recommended to pass by the Finance Committee and is headed to the Senate floor. For more information on this legislation, Sen. Sheran’s office can be contacted by phone at (651) 296-6153 or by email at email@example.com.