St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Minnesota Senate approved changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Treatment program on Tuesday in a 44-21 vote.
Minnesota lawmakers call it a fix following a class action lawsuit prompted a federal order to reform.
Since 1994, the Minnesota sex offender treatment program has grown to a population of close to 700 clients.
The legislation would have the same standard to commit someone to a treatment center, but would create alternatives as to where that treatment could occur.
Those in treatment would receive regular reviews, in which the court system could decide to grant a provisional discharge.
“Civil commitment should be about the treatment of persons who are dangerous to the public, that's what this bill does,” said Sen. Sheran. “It begins to expand the treatment options for persons who are civilly committed as sexually dangerous. It's not about releasing them, it's about reviewing regularly the progress that they have made, determining the changes that need to be made to improve the probability of outcome.”