MSOP

TruthToTell May 9: SEX OFFENDERS:What Should Really Happen to Them? - Audio Below-Video in Archive

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Minnesota’s Sex Offender policy has mushroomed into a full-fledged Constitutional crisis, if recent developments and about twenty years or more of political ping-pong are any indication. No crime – even murder without sex attached – strikes as heavy a cord in the dissonant upheaval over just what society should do about sex offenders – especially AFTER they’ve served their sentences.

TruthToTell, Monday, May 9- 9AM: SEX OFFENDERS:What Should Really Happen to Them? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

TruthToTell, Monday, May 9- 9AM: SEX OFFENDERS:What Should Really Happen to Them? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on Facebook pages – TruthToTell’s or Andy’s

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minnesota’s Sex Offender policy has mushroomed into a full-fledged Constitutional crisis, if recent developments and about twenty years or more of political ping-pong are any indication. No crime – even murder without sex attached – strikes as heavy a cord in the dissonant upheaval over just what society should do about sex offenders – especially AFTER they’ve served their sentences.

There’s something extra violative and victimizing about sex offenses, it seems, and, if a killing occurs in connection with a sex violation, ripples of revenge often dictate the fate of the offender and the victim’s family understandably wants every book published thrown at that offender and every other offender who has ever been dragged through a courtroom.

Currently, Minnesota’s approach to all this is to find some way to hide these men – mostly men , of course, and labeled Level Three offenders meaning at highest risk among others to re-offend – away in some dark hole of obscurity – by instituting civil commitment procedures – almost always successful and with little or no legal representation accorded the offender – to put them back into a prison-like setting, either up north at Moose Lake Correctional Facility or south in St. Peter State Hospital’s Criminal Wing.

But, if these offenders have served their prison time, where in the Constitution does it allow that their further incarceration or imprisonment is actually anything but double jeopardy – forbidden by this nation’s rule of law. Our system of laws does not allow imprisonment based on a presumption that crime may be committed in the future. That’s because we have no assurance, no evidence whatsoever, that a US resident is going to commit a crime. Any assumption along that line is pure speculation and taking a person’s freedom away is Constitutionally verboten.

But, it’s happening anyway, and some courts have upheld what blatantly appears to be unconstitutional incarceration. Besides – this paranoia over sex offenses was born of just a few, highly visible and highly volatile sex crimes that led to the victims’ deaths, not at all based on the real numbers or the real facts surrounding most sex offenses, disgusting though they may be for all of us. Remember all the priests who, for generations and hundreds of years have been offending without real justice meted out. And, yet, even those offenses are not among the vast majority of sex crimes committed, admitted, punished and forgotten. In other words – most sex offenders know their victims and most offenders do not re-offend after serving their time behind bars or on probation.

And, yet, the treatment of sex offenders has become political blood sport for some segments of society and the legislature.

For those working within the system it’s a conundrum of major proportions. What to do with these guys? Can they ever be free? Do they deserve to be? What person who has served their time or paid their debt to society after conviction and imprisonment deserves to be automatically returned to custody simply because someone is afraid of the possibility of future behavior? You’ve heard of the police state? One of our guests calls this the Preventive State when we put people away anticipating bad behavior that may never occur. And how do victims and victim representatives look at this? What about those forced by law to sit in judgment and decide such fates?

Join TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI as we cover most of those bases and more in exploring the raging ethical dilemma and Constitutional questions around post-incarceration civil commitment of sex offenders – and only sex offenders. We talk with five of those players who confront the reality of Minnesota’s system and the dicey descriptions and dispositions Minnesota law levels against offenders who have been released.

GUESTS:

DENNIS BENSON – CEO, MN Sex Offender Program (MSOP), MN Department of Human Services

JOSEFINA COLOND, PhD – Psychologist and Chair, MSOP Review Board

DONNA DUNN – Executive Director, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA)

MIKE FREEMAN - Hennepin County Attorney

ERIC JANUS – President and Dean, William Mitchell College of Law; Civil Commitment scholar; Author, “The Preventive State, Terrorists and Sexual Predators”"Closing Pandora's Box: Sexual Predators and the Politics of Sexual Violence"; Many others

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First Person Radio: May 4: AMERICAN INDIAN MONTH BEGINS: Heid Erdrich & Justin Huenemann-AUDIO HERE

May is Minnesota American Indian Month and First Person Radio presents several programs featuring Native leaders and a play by Laura Waterman Wittstock - The Visitor. This week, Laura and cohost, Richard LaFortune (with Andy Driscoll) talk with Poet Heid Erdrich and Indian Community Development leader, Justin Huenemann.

A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of OjibwayHeid E. Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota. She earned degrees from Dartmouth College and The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars.

Heid Erdrich is author of four poetry collections, most recently National Monuments from Michigan State University Press. Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming in 2012. Her first book Fishing for Myth was recently re-issued from New Rivers Press. Heid Erdrich also authored The Mother’s Tongue, Salt Publishing’s Earthworks series, and co-edited Sister Nations: Native American Women on Community, Minnesota Historical Society Press. A recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board fellowships, awards from The Loft Literary Center, the Archibald Bush Foundation and elsewhere, Heid Erdrich has four times been nominated for the Minnesota Book Award which she won in 2009.

Justin Kii Huenemann (Navajo) is president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), an organization that's bringing other nonprofits together to buy land for use by Indian-owned for-profit businesses. The first of its kind in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, NACDI is configured as an alliance of major Indian nonprofits and several Indian businesses in the metropolitan area committed to community-building through sector economic development and large-scale development. Foremost in our transformation plan to develop a new community infrastructure is to build community capacity and assets within high growth economic sectors.

NACDI grew out of the work of the Hennepin County American Indian Families Project (AIFP), a partnership project between Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors organization.  Through this community-driven initiative, the idea of focusing on American Indian community through community economic development came about.  The result was the formation of the NACDI Taskforce, a coalition of more than 60 individuals — including representatives from American Indian nonprofits, American Indian businesses, Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Minneapolis Public Schools, as well as community-based and philanthropic organizations. A strategic plan for NACDI was completed in October 2006 after a 10-month, community-engaged, strategic-planning process.

TruthToTell May 9: SEX OFFENDERS:What Should Really Happen to Them? - Audio Below-Video in Archive

On-air date: 
Mon, 05/09/2011

A short video synopsis of what was said Monday morning can be found HERE

The Full Program can be seen HERE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minnesota’s Sex Offender policy has mushroomed into a full-fledged Constitutional crisis, if recent developments and about twenty years or more of political ping-pong are any indication. No crime – even murder without sex attached – strikes as heavy a cord in the dissonant upheaval over just what society should do about sex offenders – especially AFTER they’ve served their sentences.

There’s something extra violative and victimizing about sex offenses, it seems, and, if a killing occurs in connection with a sex violation, ripples of revenge often dictate the fate of the offender and the victim’s family understandably wants every book published thrown at that offender and every other offender who has ever been dragged through a courtroom.

Currently, Minnesota’s approach to all this is to find some way to hide these men – mostly men , of course, and labeled Level Three offenders meaning at highest risk among others to re-offend – away in some dark hole of obscurity – by instituting civil commitment procedures – almost always successful and with little or no legal representation accorded the offender – to put them back into a prison-like setting, either up north at Moose Lake Correctional Facility or south in St. Peter State Hospital’s Criminal Wing.

But, if these offenders have served their prison time, where in the Constitution does it allow that their further incarceration or imprisonment is actually anything but double jeopardy – forbidden by this nation’s rule of law. Our system of laws does not allow imprisonment based on a presumption that crime may be committed in the future. That’s because we have no assurance, no evidence whatsoever, that a US resident is going to commit a crime. Any assumption along that line is pure speculation and taking a person’s freedom away is Constitutionally verboten.

But, it’s happening anyway, and some courts have upheld what blatantly appears to be unconstitutional incarceration. Besides – this paranoia over sex offenses was born of just a few, highly visible and highly volatile sex crimes that led to the victims’ deaths, not at all based on the real numbers or the real facts surrounding most sex offenses, disgusting though they may be for all of us. Remember all the priests who, for generations and hundreds of years have been offending without real justice meted out. And, yet, even those offenses are not among the vast majority of sex crimes committed, admitted, punished and forgotten. In other words – most sex offenders know their victims and most offenders do not re-offend after serving their time behind bars or on probation.

And, yet, the treatment of sex offenders has become political blood sport for some segments of society and the legislature.

For those working within the system it’s a conundrum of major proportions. What to do with these guys? Can they ever be free? Do they deserve to be? What person who has served their time or paid their debt to society after conviction and imprisonment deserves to be automatically returned to custody simply because someone is afraid of the possibility of future behavior? You’ve heard of the police state? One of our guests calls this the Preventive State when we put people away anticipating bad behavior that may never occur. And how do victims and victim representatives look at this? What about those forced by law to sit in judgment and decide such fates?

Join TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI as we cover most of those bases and more in exploring the raging ethical dilemma and Constitutional questions around post-incarceration civil commitment of sex offenders – and only sex offenders. We talk with five of those players who confront the reality of Minnesota’s system and the dicey descriptions and dispositions Minnesota law levels against offenders who have been released.

GUESTS:

DENNIS BENSON – CEO, MN Sex Offender Program (MSOP), MN Department of Human Services

JOSEFINA COLOND, PhD – Psychologist and Chair, MSOP Review Board

DONNA DUNN – Executive Director, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA)

MIKE FREEMAN - Hennepin County Attorney

ERIC JANUS – President and Dean, William Mitchell College of Law; Civil Commitment scholar; Author, “The Preventive State, Terrorists and Sexual Predators”"Closing Pandora's Box: Sexual Predators and the Politics of Sexual Violence"; Many others


59:15 minutes (27.12 MB)