By Press reports
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Constitutionality of MSOP topic of trial


The trial about the constitutionality of retaining sex offenders at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake and St. Peter is in its fourth week at the federal courthouse in St. Paul, with U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank presiding.

The trial began February 9, and testimony has been taken from a panel of four court-appointed authorities, who presented a 108-page critique about the Minnesota program after a lengthy study, several sex offenders and Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

Dan Gustafson is the lead attorney representing the patients, who have signed a petition to declare the program unconstitutional.

According to news reports from various sources, Judge Frank had said he preferred legislative action but, if no action is taken by the Legislature in this session, he may order an overhaul of the system.

Males and one female, who have been convicted of committing sex offenses, are civially committed by the court and transferred to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program for treatment after serving their sentences in prison.

A patient testified there is a feeling of hopelessness among the patients, and he said that no one has been released.

In the 20-year history of the program, only two out of 720 patients have been released, it has been reported.

Commissioner Jesson testified at least 30 men have reached the final stage of treatment and are being considered for a possible transfer to a living situation with less stress.

She had also stated, after recommendations by outside authorities, a number of reforms have been adopted for the program, and it appears the program is doing a better job of moving the patients through the phases of treatment toward release.


Reader Comments

Prisonwife writes:

My husband is ther in mooselake and is being treated very poorly. He is not being heard by staff when he has told them about things other inmates have done and said. I am so disappointed in this program. It seems all they are doing is writing up false information on him to get him committed. He wants to do the treatment but the is none being done. Plz help to get this place fixed. I love my husband dearly and want him to be able to come home. Cencerly


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