Through the program, the Minnesota Department of Human Services provides services to individuals who have been court-ordered to receive sex offender treatment. MSOP clients have completed their prison sentences and are civilly committed by the courts and placed in sex offender treatment for an indeterminate period of time.
Minnesota has had a civil commitment law since the 1930s that was primarily used for those determined to be mentally ill and dangerous, but it was not until the 1990s that these laws were revised and more widely implemented for sex offenders. MSOP opened in Moose Lake in 1995 to provide treatment to people who were committed as sexually dangerous persons or sexual psychopathic personalities. Prior to that, individuals with a history of sexually offending behavior were committed to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter under the Psychopathic Personality Law.
Most clients come from the Department of Corrections. Toward the end their sentences, all individuals convicted of sex offenses are reviewed for their risk to reoffend. The Department of Corrections determines which cases to refer to the county where the individual committed their crime. It is then up to the county to determine if it wants to civilly commit an individual after they serve their sentence.
Public safety is the department's top priority. Most clients have been living in institutions for many years. To prepare clients for a transition into CPS or the community, the treatment program has implemented a rigorous reintegration process (PDF). Reintegration programming includes gradual, measured increases in privileges. This allows clients to apply what they have learned in treatment, manage risk factors and demonstrate their ability to interact with others safely and responsibly on the MSOP campus and in the community.