Sex Offender Housing Option Upsets St. Paul Residents
What happens to sex offenders in Minnesota is something that has been debated for quite some time. In some cases, they find themselves in a facility that is meant to rehabilitate them after their release from prison. However, there have been very few sex offenders released from this program since its inception.
Other sex offenders may be placed elsewhere. Residents in the Twin Cities are upset as it is at how they are released into society to move where they please. This has upset residents in North St. Paul for quite some time, as they feel they have a higher concentration of sex offenders living in their neighborhood.
In Cambridge, Minnesota, residents are upset by the state’s plan to house civilly committed sex offenders in their area.
The Human Services Commissioner wants six sex offenders to be transferred from a St. Peter compound to a lower-security building in this town that sits in central Minnesota.
This move is the result of a class action lawsuit that alleges sex offenders that are committed to the Sex Offender Program after release from prison are housed in prison-like facilities that place more restrictions on them than necessary.
Cambridge’s state representative said that that the sex offender program shouldn’t be changed until a judge passes down an order to do so. He feels that the facility in Cambridge would be dangerous and inappropriate for sex offenders to be housed because it is near a school and practically next to a park.
The Human Services Commissioner says that she has the basic framework for the Cambridge facility and has been listening to the concerns of the community.
What the federal judge overseeing the class action lawsuit by the sex offenders in the Sex Offender Program decides may determine how the program is run in Minnesota from now on. Minnesota has been cited in a number of national news stories as one of the states that has let few of the sex offenders in the Sex Offender Program go free, as they continue to be deemed not rehabilitated for one reason or another.
The Sex Offender Program holds approximately 700 sex offenders at a time and they are all offenders who have served their prison sentences and are awaiting release back into society after rehabilitation. Due to the fact few have been released from the program, there are no true statistics on whether or not a high concentration of these individuals recommit a sex offense after release.
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