Order halts changes to Minnesota sex offender program

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has granted a full stay of a judge's order requiring changes to Minnesota's sex offender program.

In a one-page order Tuesday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the ruling on hold while it considers the state's appeal. The court scheduled oral arguments for April 12 in St. Louis. The court granted a temporary stay earlier this month while it considered a full stay.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank declared the program unconstitutional in June, citing how rare it is for anyone to get released from it. In October, he ordered changes including risk assessments of all the more than 700 offenders in the program to determine which should be put on a pathway for release.

The state says the program is constitutional.

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