Nearly 300 of Minnesota's most dangerous sex offenders live outside confinement, and more than half reside in only a few neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul, a Minneapolis Star Tribune analysis of state records shows. The saturation is occurring despite a state law that requires authorities who supervise newly released sex offenders to avoid concentrating them in any community. Sidestepping the law brings no penalties.
Frustrated leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul are calling for tougher laws that would result in wider dispersal of the riskiest sex offenders. “What you're talking about is the equal distribution of the undesirables,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels, who is running for mayor. Those demands have come as public alarm over the resettlement of Level Three offenders — those considered most prone to committing more crimes — is rising around the state. Eight cities in Minnesota have essentially banned offenders from living within their borders, thwarting the state's aim to guide the offenders into a stable lifestyle after prison. The issue has gained urgency because more sex offenders in the state are completing their prison terms and transitioning to supervised release in communities — from 123 in 2008 to 289 as of last week.