Skip to main content

Appeals court puts changes to sex offender program on hold until hearing

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The state of Minnesota won't have to make any dramatic changes to its sex offender treatment program, at least for the next few months, as a federal appeals panel prepares to determine whether the program is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled the program unconstitutional earlier this year. Last month, he ordered the state to make immediate changes, including reviewing the 700-plus inmates in the program to see if they were eligible for release.

The state of Minnesota is appealing that decision and asked the appeals court to put Frank's orders on hold until the panel reviews the case.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in St. Louis, issued a one-page order Tuesday staying Frank's ruling, and scheduled oral arguments in the case for April 12.

Frank ruled the program unconstitutional because it confined sex offenders in high-security facilities with little hope of release. 

Those enrolled in the MSOP are not prisoners. They are sex offenders who have served their sentences in prison and, after an evaluation, are deemed to require further treatment.

They are then civilly committed to receive that treatment through the MSOP at two high-security facilities – in Moose Lake or St. Peter – for an “indefinite” period of time.

Only three people have been released from the program in its 20 years, and even then only provisionally.

Next Up

storm, severe weather, derecho

Hail and tornadoes possible Thursday in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin

Storms are expected to fire along a warm front draped across southern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 8.02.52 AM

Bde Maka Ska pavilion construction begins next week

The former lakeside food stand, home to Lola on the Lake, caught fire in 2019.

Pixabay - laptop computer dark screen

Undercover child sex sting sees 4 men arrested in St. Louis Park

One of the men is being held as he's in a position of authority of power over children.

Owl

New Raptor Center data shows 'substantial drop' in bird flu patients

However, the virus remains a serious health threat for birds.

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 6.16.34 PM

Suspect kills himself after shooting woman and baby at Fargo restaurant

The suspect was found dead in a stolen vehicle in Minnesota.

CK Kyle Kasio

Charges: Guest stabbed three men as they slept in Albert Lea

Investigators believe the suspect is related to all three victims.

Kandiyohi County Courthouse

2 charged for fentanyl overdose death of 19-year-old

The-19-year-old died from a fentanyl overdose last month.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch: Hail, 65 mph gusts, tornadoes possible

The watch is just north of the Twin Cities metro area.

Lake Minnetonka

The staggering rise of Minnesota's most famous lakes this spring

Imagine dumping Lake Minnetonka into Lake Superior 47 times.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota Senate shoots down latest marijuana legalization attempt

The bill didn't receive the required votes for further consideration on Wednesday.

tree

Minneapolis wants to use $1M in federal cash to plant 200,000 trees

The goal is to have these trees planted by the year 2040.

Related