Lawmakers Discuss Overhaul of Minn. Sex Offender System

Updated: 12/03/2012 7:51 AM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Minnesota lawmakers wrapped up their discussions about overhauling the state sex offender system Thursday.

The Sex Offender Civil Commitment Task Force gave its final recommendations on less restrictive options for dealing with nearly 700 offenders living at prison-like treatment facilities in Big Lake and St. Peter.

Chair of the Task Force, and Former Chief Justice, Eric Magnuson said the task force discussed various drafts Thursday. They reached consensus on the substance and language of a draft that will be worked on over the next couple of days. The draft will be submitted on Monday to the court and commissioner on the need for less restrictive alternatives for the commitment and treatment of sex offenders. 

Critics say the current system is essentially a life sentence for those committed because no one has fully gotten out in nearly two decades.

Magnuson said the recommendations are the first step in a long process, but Thursday's consensus allows them to meet their Monday deadline.