Skip to main content

Dayton, lawmakers hear recommended changes to sex offender law


Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders heard from members of a task force proposing changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender program on Tuesday.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson heads the task force. He went over some of the recommendations with the governor and lawmakers during a private meeting on Tuesday.

The report, issued earlier this month, is calling for a reworking of the civil commitment process. It found that Minnesota's current system "captures too many people and keeps them for too long."

The report outlines that Minnesota has the highest per capita rate of any state that uses civil commitment and has the lowest release rate.

The recommendations include creating an independent professional group to develop and implement an assessment process to evaluate sex offenders who might qualify for civil commitment and give judges the option of sending sex offenders to less restrictive treatment programs instead of the treatment facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

Senate Minority Leader David Hann told MPR News, "There's sort of agreement that what we are doing is constitutionally sound. But there are questions about how that is applied that have raised some concerns, and I think those concerns are broadly shared by Republicans and Democrats."

MPR reports House Speaker Paul Thissen said he thought the meeting helped legislative leaders better understand the challenges ahead.

The issue is expected to be a big one during the legislative session that begins in February. The Senate Judiciary Committee said last month that changes are needed to the system.

A lawsuit has been filed claiming the sex offender program is unconstitutional.

Next Up

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.