Governor Mark Dayton says he’s glad a federal appeals court overturned a lower court decision and ruled that Minnesota’s Sex Offender Treatment program is constitutional. Dayton says it “doesn’t mean we can go back to just letting people be locked up unattended for lifetimes, but it means that we can proceed at a pace that best serves not only the institutions but also the general public.” Dayton acknowledges that removing pressure from the court will make it more difficult to enact reforms to the Sex Offender Treatment Program. But he adds, “I don’t see it as a reason to stop what we’re doing. I think it means that we can proceed at a pace that we can afford and that we can manage.”
Plaintiffs’ attorney Dan Gustafson says “justice was not done” and they’re considering an appeal to the U-S Supreme Court. Critics of the program say the state is locking up sex offenders after they’ve completed their prison sentences with no chance of release. Backers argue many of those in the program remain a threat to the public.