State Senate Passes Bill Preventing Unsupervised Release of Certain Sex Offenders

April 23, 2018 06:43 PM

In a unanimous vote Monday morning, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill meant to clarify a state statute regarding the release of some violent sexual offenders and certain individuals with mental illnesses.

The bill, authored by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, comes a week after the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to hear a petition to a state court of appeals decision in late January.

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RELATED: Minnesota Appeals Court Backs Sex Offender's Full Discharge

Limmer said the Department of Human Services urged him to craft a bill that would "keep Minnesotans safe."

Limmer said the court decision means civilly committed sexually dangerous persons, sexual psychopathic personalities and mentally ill and dangerous individuals could petition to be released fully, instead of following provisional discharge conditions.

RELATED: After Supreme Court Passes, What's Next for Sex Offenders?

Once granted in court, a provision discharge allows offenders to be released in into the community under supervision - like 24-hour security through an ankle bracelet.

"This is not a population that should be released quickly and in one fell swoop," Limmer said. "This is a population that should be considered over a gradual period of time."

The Department of Human Services agrees.

DHS acting commissioner Chuck Johnson backed the bill at a press conference Monday morning before the Senate convened.

"What this bill would do is essentially make clear the difference between a full discharge and a provisional discharge, and allow us to continue to treat (those individuals) as we have been until these court decisions came," Johnson said.

Limmer anticipated Gov. Mark Dayton and the State House would also support the bill.

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Tyler Berg

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