Editorial: Sex offender reform is closer to reality

  • Article by: EDITORIAL BOARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2012 - 6:31 PM

Report makes it clear action is needed on civil commitment.

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SubGeniusDec. 8, 12 7:44 PM

I would hope that longer minimum prison sentences initially, at least for the more serious offenders, are part of the conversation. They would definitely alleviate any constitutional double-jeopardy concerns.

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thunderDec. 8, 12 8:26 PM

I am just not seeing it......savings in having more facilities. Cost to build or develop, staff more with even minimal security, treatment staff, admin etc. For many of the offenders, there needs to be a clear path to treatment completion and integration into the community. Why not use existing private treatment vendors and utilize technology and best practices in community supervision? No matter how you slice it, keeping these offenders in any sort of facility is costly.

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alansonDec. 8, 12 9:23 PM

If this policy of indefinite incarceration for "treatment" ever reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be shot down on a 9-0 vote. We all know this but deny it. In response our state leaders cynically continue the policy because they lack the political courage to craft a constitutional replacement.

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northhillDec. 9, 12 9:41 AM

Recently a man charged with a sex crime in Hennepin County was arrested for that crime in England.The British refused to extradite him to the United States because of Minnesota's indefinite civil commitment statute.If this statute was not on the books he would have been returned to Minnesota.Minnesota might even face an issue where other states could refuse to extradite offenders to Minnesota.

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fwallenDec. 9, 12 1:23 PM

Just sentence the worst( most likely to re offend) To much longer sentences. The succes rate on rehabilitation is not encouraging. Until we find a better solution these creepy guys must be kept away from vulnerable people, but the current system is obviously going to end either through the courts or the legislature. One idea, release a couple and watch them 24/7. When they re-offend, as they undoubtedly will, sentence them to a long term.

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shelomithDec. 9, 12 3:25 PM

Lengthy sentences, where truly warranted, must be assigned as part of the court-ordered punishment. Contrary to fwallen's pessimism, the success rate on rehabilitation is very encouraging. Policies that do as Thunder suggests is the best course, even leaving financial concerns out of the equation, because all available data suggests that the best hedge against re-offense is meaningful access to community and family support, resources, and integration.

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suetiggersAug. 27, 13 8:50 PM

Sex offenses are the EASIEST crimes to falsely accuse someone of. Many prosecutors call them "easy wins" If anyone cares about justice, they will learn how true this. Here's a few facts about these laws: Most people know how terrible any sexually violent act is against a child, but not enough people know that a majority now that are on the registry are not dangerous, and especially aren't to children. Unscrupulous politicians, drama-driven media (esp.Fox) and ambitious, overly-zealous prosecutors all helped create a monster, albeit a very popular one because most of us want to DO something to stop these crimes against children. But the laws, as too often happens, have run amuck. http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2011-05-are-we-being-smart-about-sex-offenders http://ilvoices.com/media/23945d47d1a0fd37ffff810bffffe415.pdf http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/ Read Jim and Nancy Petro's book "False Justice" and Richard Wrights' "Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions" See the movie "Conviction" and Sean Penn's "Witch hunt" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0C2aQprdIM

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