The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 16, 2014

Case made for Security Hospital project

$56 million project said to provide a safer campus

(Continued)

Of course, these are larger issues that the bonding project doesn’t hope to solve.

But Jesson said she’s’ “heard loud and clear” that most problems at the hospital are caused by about 5 percent of its 250 patients. The bonding project could help by separating some of those patients.

MSOP expansion sought

In addition to the $56 million security hospital request, the human services department is also asking the Legislature for a $7.4 million expansion at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, usually called MSOP.

The two programs are on the same campus, are home to people civilly committed by the courts and have rehabilitation into society as their stated goal, but are otherwise very different. Most of the mentally ill and dangerous people live in the hospital atop the hill, and most of the sex offenders live behind razor wire below the hill.

The House didn’t include the sex offender expansion at all in its recent proposal. Jesson tied the project to the program’s ongoing legal struggle by noting that the request is to expand transitional housing, called Community Preparation Services. If the federal judge is looking for evidence that more people are moving through treatment, she said, here’s some.

Even so, a judge could not send new patients directly into these transitional buildings, so their value is solely for existing patients.

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