Minn. Panel Suggests Changes in Handling Sex Offenders

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Some of the nearly 200 sexual psychopaths now locked in Minnesota treatment centers should be moved into less prison-like settings and allowed back into the community through work release, an independent advisory committee suggests.

In its first report to the state since it was created 18 months ago, the five-member committee was sharply critical of the current treatment program, saying it is punitive and coercive, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The program contributes to the general air of hopelessness displayed by many of the patients, most of them repeat rapists and pedophiles who have served their prison sentences and been declared sexually dangerous by a judge, the report said.

Human Services Commissioner Kevin Goodno disagrees with the criticisms, although he said he would consider the panel’s recommendations.

The Minnesota Sex Offender Program was the subject of recent reports in the Star Tribune. The paper reported only one patient had been released from the $20 million program in its 11-year existence, and he was returned earlier this year after violating his condition of release by leaving the state. Each year about a dozen new patients enter the program at a cost of $310 a day each.

Link: http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4106539.html

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