June 8, 2008

"Locked in Limbo"

Expose on Minnesota's civil commitment system
Minnesota is the heartland of America, and it could also be considered Ground Zero for the Sexually Violent Predator movement that has swept America in the past two decades. Minnesota brought us the MnSost-R, one of the first of the wave of controversial "actuarial" instruments used to measure sex offender recidivism risk. The state civilly commits a greater proportion of its sex offenders than any other state, and so far it's proven to be a life sentence for all.

This weekend is the start of an in-depth series in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that explores the the history, the mounting costs, and some of the controversies surrounding the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), where 554 men and one woman have been committed. To date, 24 "patients" have died in the program, while not a single person has been successfully treated and released. The series features an online slide show and profiles of several offenders.

Check it out here.

Hat tip: Kirk Witherspoon