A very interesting document has been leaked to JNS Blog.
My highly-placed, unnamed source described the document as a "shot across the bow" directed at the Minnesota Department of Corrections by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in regard to the issue of Level Three Sex Offender Concentration in Hennepin County.
This blog has kept a fire burning under this issue for a while, though my concern is the number of L3SOs in North Minneapolis. Clearly, North Minneapolis bears the lion's share of this problem. But for the Minneapolis City Council and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, the issue is bigger than the 55411 zip code. The issue impacts our city and county, not just my neighborhood.
Though my neighborhood has it the worst. And I'm going to keep pointing it out.
But here's the letter, written upon Board of Hennepin County Comissioners letterhead. The document passed through two faxes on its way to me, and a sentence or two is indecipherable...
May 20, 2013
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive Suite 200
Re: Concentration of Level III Predatory Offenders In Minneapolis
Dear Commissioner Roy:
On behalf of the Hennepin County Board, I write regarding the concentration of Level III Predatory Offenders in Minneapolis and to express our frustration that the Minnesota Department of Corrections ("MN DOC") appears unwilling to follow Minnesota law with respect to this issue.
As you know, a Level III Predatory Offender is a convicted sex offender who has been determined to be at high risk of re-offending. According to the MN DOC website (as of April 30, 2013), there are approximately 295 Level III Predatory Offenders living in Minnesota. State law requires that when considering release plans for Level III Predatory Offenders, MN DOC "shall take into consideration the proximity of the offender's residence to that of other level III offenders and proximity to schools and, to the greatest extent feasible, shall mitigate the concentration of level III offenders and concentration of level III offenders near schools. Minn. Stat 244.052, subd. 4a (emphasis in original letter)
As of April 23, 2013, 129 of Minnesota's 295 Level III Predatory Offenders are living in Minneapolis. This represents 44% of the entire state's Level III Predatory Offenders. In contrast, only 7% of the state's population lives in Minneapolis (387,753 / 5,347,299) Thus, the concentration of Level III Predatory Offenders in Minneapolis is ten times higher than the concentration of Level III Predatory Offenders in the rest of the state. No other community in Minnesota is even close to Minneapolis in terms of the number of Level III Predatory Offenders or the concentration of them.
JURISDICTION OF CURRENT OFFENSE NUMBER
Hennepin County 61
Other MN County 11
JURISDICTION(S) OF REGISTRATION OFFENSES
Hennepin County 43
Other MN County 16
Hennepin County & another MN County 9
Hennepin & Interstate 2
Other state/federal 2
Two numbers in this chart stand out. First, fifteen percent of Level III Predatory Offenders on supervision in Hennepin County (11/72) committed the offense for which they are on supervision in a county other than Hennepin County. Many of these offenders only began residing in Hennepin County after serving their prison time for offenses committed in other counties.
Second, and even more startling, 22% of the Level III Predatory Offenders on supervision in Hennepin County (16/72) committed the offense for which they were required to register as a Predatory Offender in a county other than Hennepin County.
An additional 13% (9/72) committed the registration offenses in another county and Hennepin County. Thus, 35% of the Level III Predatory Offenders under supervision in Hennepin County committed an offense that led to their registration in another county, but they are residing in Minneapolis and being supervised by Hennepin County.
While the numbers are startling, the "facts" relied upon by MN DOC to force Hennepin County to accept these Predatory Offenders are truly shocking. Over the past several years, the MN DOC has repeatedly forced Hennepin County to accept out-of-county Level III Predatory Offenders for supervision in a significant number of instances. Summarized below are some examples of Level III Offenders forced into Hennepin County.
Christopher Sonsalla. Committed his sex offenses in Nicollet (1996), Carver (1999) and Todd Counties (2005). His victims included a 3-year-old female, and three 14-15 year old females. Hennepin County initially refused supervision of Mr. Sonsalla in Hennepin County, because he had no historical ties to Hennepin County. However, in March 2013, MN DOC made Hennepin County the only option for supervision by placement at the Beacon substance abuse recovery program at the Harbor Lights Center at 1010 Currie Avenue. Sonsalla's only "historical ties" to Hennepin County were that he lived in Minneapolis until he was five years old. Todd County has zero Level Three Predatory Offenders living there.
Herbert Ward--convicted of digital penetration of his 3-year-old granddaughter in Wright County and initially released to Wright County. (2007) After Hennepin County rejected supervision of Mr. Ward four times, MN DOC called upon Hennepin County to take supervision based upon Mr. Ward's alleged need to reside in Hennepin County so (sentence is indecipherable though I can make out the ward "VA hospital).
Mr. Ward has refused to receive medical services at the VA since being on Intensive Supervised Release (ISR) Supervision. Wright County has zero Level III Predatory Offenders living there.
His sex offense was a sexual assault of an adult female stranger which included vaginal, anal and oral penetration by forcing his way into her apartment, brandishing a (sentence is indecipherable)
...victim's head during the assault. Release plan rejected by Hennepin County at least three times. Release plans in Indiana, Sauk Rapids and Dakota County also rejected. Offender ultimately filed a habeas corpus petition with the state and a civil lawsuit against MN DOC and Hennepin County. The habeas corpus action resulted in the court ordering release from prison within 30 days. MN DOC forced Hennepin County to place Mr. Johnson at 180 Degrees and accept supervision, despite no ties to Hennepin County. Sherburne County has zero Level III Predatory Offenders living there.
END OF PART ONE.
PART TWO TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEAR FUTURE....