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Associated Press, Published December 04 2012

Recommendations advance in Minnesota for treating sex offenders

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers will consider a recommendation to reform its costly, high-security sex offender program.

A task force headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson is recommending the state replace its prison-like treatment of dangerous sex offenders with a network of less restrictive regional facilities.

The Minnesota Sex Offender Program confines and treats the most dangerous offenders under the court's direction after they have finished their prison sentences. The number of offenders in the program has grown to more than 600. They are confined to high-security treatment facilities at a cost of about $120,000 per person annually.

A federal magistrate ordered the state to form a task force to study alternatives to the current program. The Star Tribune reports Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson plans to meet with lawmakers in coming weeks to discuss the recommendations.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.