Sex offenders at a treatment center in Minnesota, fed up with political gridlock over their controversial program, are taking matters into their own hands by running for elected office, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. For the last three months, a group of sex offenders has quietly run a voter-registration drive up and down the hallways of the prisonlike treatment center in Moose Lake, where about 460 convicted rapists, pedophiles and other offenders are locked away indefinitely.
Some 155 are now registered to vote, nearly 20 percent of all voters registered in Moose Lake. Their goal is to elect sex offenders to as many as eight city and county offices, where they can push for more freedoms and reintegration into the community. Among their demands, offenders want the right to leave the facility without shackles and handcuffs; and for the city of Moose Lake to allow for halfway houses for offenders who progress in treatment for their sexual disorders.