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Associated Press, Published March 11 2011

Minn. sex offender program gets deeper look

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's legislative auditor is releasing a report on the state's program for civil commitment of sex offenders.

Minnesota's program has grown to more than 600 patients and adds about 50 per year. A convicted sexual predator, John Rydberg, is currently petitioning for release from a psychiatric hospital to a halfway house in the Twin Cities. It would make him the first person ever permanently released from the program.

The state has been grappling with the program's rising costs amid the $5 billion budget deficit, and questions about the program's constitutionality.

The audit report is looking into questions including whether the program is effectively managed, whether it offers adequate treatment and opportunities for release, and how Minnesota's program compares to other states. A legislative panel will review the audit Friday morning.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.