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As Sex Offender Program Marches On, Rising Costs

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota lawmakers are getting nowhere over how to resolve constitutional questions about the state’s sex offender treatment program, but the same can’t be said about the program’s costs.

They’re going somewhere – up.

About 50 new patients enter the program every year, a growth rate that threatens to swamp existing facilities in the next few years. A Senate committee Thursday will review a request for $7.4 million this year to renovate and expand the St. Peter treatment center.

Lawmakers are under pressure to comply with a federal judge’s warning last month to create a more humane program or risk the judge ruling it unconstitutional and putting it under court control. But despite that and the looming costs, top lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton say they doubt it’ll happen this session.

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