On Wednesday, legislation dealing with the Minnesota Sex Offender Program was introduced in the House. Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Park, offered a bill that would require any civilly committed sex offender who is convicted of a felony while at MSOP to serve prison time.
Sex offenders will be on the policy agenda when the Legislature convenes in January. Whether legislators want to deal with the politically volatile issue or not, the actions of a court-mandated task force examining the state’s troubled civil commitment program ensures that they will be compelled to address the subject.
The cost of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program has grown dramatically in recent years. In 2004 the program for detaining the state’s most dangerous sex offenders cost just $20.4 million. By 2012 that figure is projected to rise above $70 million.