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Sex Offender Supervision: 2000 Report to the Legislature

NCJ Number
Date Published
22 pages
This report presents the findings from the Sex Offender Supervision Study Group, which was appointed in 1999 to study the supervision of sex offenders by probation officers in Minnesota.
During the 1999 legislative session in Minnesota, it was concluded that an improvement in sex offender supervision was required. The Department of Corrections (DOC) appointed a Sex Offender Supervision Study Group to prepare recommendations to this end. The Sex Offender Supervision Study Group concentrated on seven main areas of study: intensive supervised release, specialized caseloads, optimum caseload size, suitable housing for sex offenders, classification and risk assessment, sex offender supervision training, and probation and post-release programming funding. The report is organized into these seven sections, with background information, recommendations, legislative requirements, and projected costs discussed in each section. First, in terms of intensive supervised release, the study group reported that during the past 3 years, less than 2 percent of offenders under intensive supervised release were charged with new felonies. The study group thus recommended a statewide expansion of intensive supervised release and more flexibility for rural counties to impose this type of supervision. Second, specialized case loads have been noted to increase public safety by enhancing the probation officer’s knowledge of unique populations. The study group recommended the continued development of local specialized sex offender caseloads for probation officers and the implementation of standardized statewide outcome measures. Third, the caseload of probation officers has been consistently reported as too high with the result being reactive supervision rather than proactive supervision. The study recommended that the legislature continue to support and fund caseload reduction. Fourth, halfway houses have been noted as suitable housing for sex offenders; recommendations include the construction of new halfway houses and transitional housing. Fifth, in terms of classification and risk assessment, the study group found that the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) is a valid and respected risk assessment tool. The study group recommended that the DOC collaborate with Ramsey County and Project Pathfinder to develop a risk assessment tool for offenders on probation. Sixth, the study group recommended that the DOC should develop advanced sex offender supervision training for probation officers, and, seventh, that additional funding is needed to extend probation and post-release programming to all areas of the State.