Minnesota law requires that when a court sentences a person for a felony-level criminal sexual conduct crime, the court must make a preliminary determination as to whether the civil commitment of the person as a sexually dangerous person would be appropriate and must include this determination in its sentencing order. If the court determines that such a petition would be appropriate, it must forward its preliminary determination and any supporting documentation to the county attorney. Minn. Stat. § 609.1351.

Similarly, the Commissioner of Corrections is required to make the same type of preliminary determination concerning the appropriateness of civil commitment before releasing certain predatory offenders from state prison. This law applies when the sex offender has been classified by the commissioner to be in a “high risk” category. If the commissioner determines that a petition may be appropriate, he or she must forward the preliminary determination, along with a summary of the written reasons for it, to the county attorney in the county where the offender was convicted. The law then directs the county attorney to proceed, under the civil commitment law, to assess the case and determine whether civil commitment proceedings should be initiated. Minn. Stat. § 244.05, subd. 7.

CREDIT: The content of this and any related posts has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders: Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws, written by Legislative Analyst Jeffrey Diebel.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws Regarding Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders.