The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 26, 2013

Keep working at beneficial relationship

Thumbs up to both the North Mankato City Council and Greater Mankato Growth for continuing to work on repairing relationships of old. Under previous leadership, the city divorced itself from GMG and struck out on its own both in economic development and tourism attraction.

On its face, the recent decision by GMG to withdraw its offer to join the regional economic development group and Visit Mankato looks like a courting ritual that went bad. But actually it gives both parties time to better understand what each brings to the table.

And there appears to be an acknowledgement that regional strength is better than going alone. Because if the result is all area cities competing against each other, no one really wins in the end.

Panel makes sound proposals

Thumbs up to a task force making some solid recommendations on improving the state’s system for indefinitely confining its most dangerous sex offenders.

The sex offenders, housed in St. Peter and at Moose Lake, are committed by the courts after they have served all of their prison time. But the system has been under attack by the courts and others because virtually none of the 700 offenders ever gets released.

The draft recommendations would ask the Legislature to adopt a higher standard of proof and create a panel of professional experts to screen those who are being considered for commitment. The panel also wants the state to create a central court that would decide who is committed and when those in the system should be released.

Committing dangerous sex offenders for treatment is necessary to protect the public from those who are most likely to re-offend. But the system has to be one focused on treatment and the ability for release or it simply becomes a way to hold people for the rest of their lives even though they’ve served all of their prison time.

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