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Appellate Court Deems Minnesota Sex Offender Program Constitutional

This April 19, 2010 file photo shows the Moose Lake, Minn., facility for sex offenders that was likened by offenders housed there in a lawsuit to a second prison sentence rather than the treatment program is was designed to be. (Martiga Lohn/AP)
This April 19, 2010 file photo shows the Moose Lake, Minn., facility for sex offenders that was likened by offenders housed there in a lawsuit to a second prison sentence rather than the treatment program is was designed to be. (Martiga Lohn/AP)

In Minnesota, sex offenders are often detained indefinitely, even following the end of their prison sentence, as a way to ensure public safety. Civil rights advocates have been fighting the current system for years, saying it’s unfair to those who have served their time.

A federal judge declared the program unconstitutional in 2015, but on Tuesday this week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, saying the program serves a “legitimate interest” for Minnesotans.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Emily Piper, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which oversees the sex-offender program.

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