October 18, 2012

Editorial: Sex offender task force to take on unenviable job

10-18-2012 Minnesota:

When we met with Rep. Tina Liebling a few weeks ago for an endorsement interview, she told us that she was lobbying to be included on the Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force.

Well, she got her wish — and she's in good company. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem also is among the 20 people appointed by Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson to provide recommendations for changing the state's civil commitment and referral process for sex offenders.

On Aug. 15, the U.S. District Court ordered the creation of this task force, which includes current state legislators, academic professionals, county commissioners, active and retired judges and victims' advocates. On or before Dec. 3, the group will give Jesson a set of recommendations for legislative proposals. Liebling is one of four legislators on the panel, and Ostrem is the only county attorney.

We don't envy them their task, but it has to be done. The state's system of indefinite civil commitment for sex offenders is extremely costly and might be unconstitutional, and Minnesota can no longer bury its head in the sand and pretend that this problem will go away. We need a long-term solution that protects the public while offering offenders at least some hope that they can rebuild their lives. ..Source.. by POst Bulletin

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