U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank writes in a ruling Thursday that the lawsuit from residents of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program "easily survives dismissal"

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - A federal judge is refusing to throw out a lawsuit challenging Minnesota's treatment system for sex offenders and again suggesting he might scrap the whole program.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank writes in a ruling Thursday that the lawsuit from residents of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program "easily survives dismissal" despite the state's attempt to get it thrown out.

The lawsuit contends that the program amounts to prison-like confinement of people who have finished prison terms or were never convicted of a crime. In the program's nearly 20-year history, only one resident has been provisionally released.

Minnesota lawmakers are considering proposals for an alternate system. Frank writes that "the time for legislative action is now" and calls the current system "draconian" and "clearly broken."

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