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Judge won't delay changes to state's controversial sex offender program

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A judge won't delay changes to Minnesota's embattled sex offender program, rejecting a motion filed by the state, the Star Tribune reports.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, who ruled the program unconstitutional earlier this year, ordered changes to the sex offender program last month, including reviewing the 700-plus inmates in the program to see if they were eligible for release.

At that time, officials said they didn't have the funds or enough time to independently review all the cases by the judge's deadline, and the state asked him to stay that order, pending the outcome of an appeal.

But on Monday, Frank rejected the state's request for a delay, saying the state failed to "prove a strong likelihood that it will win an appeal or suffer irreparable harm without a stay," The Associated Press reports. He did, however, reset the state's deadline to conduct the reviews.

The state can now request a stay through the Court of Appeals, according to the Star Tribune.

Frank had ruled the program unconstitutional because it confined sex offenders in high-security facilities with little hope of release, and ordered the state – which disagreed with the ruling – to reform it or face changes being implemented by the court.

No inmate has been fully released in MSOP’s history, and only a handful have secured partial release.

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