Governor releases report on criminal justice reforms

PIERRE, S.D. (KBHB) – The Public Safety Improvement Act Oversight Council has released its annual report on progress made under Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s criminal justice reforms. The Governor announced the release of the report at his legislative press conference Thursday and noted the passage of Senate Bill 117 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to the report, South Dakota is saving money thanks to the reforms. The report indicates there are 278 fewer inmates within the state prison system today than there would have been without the Public Safety Improvement Act.

The average cost for incarceration is almost $60 a day and $22,000 per year. Additionally, without the law, state officials say a new women’s prison would have been needed last year at the cost of $36 million.

Daugaard says the state’s investment in programs to help offenders who have drug and alcohol problems is also noted in the report.

The bill passed by Senate Judiciary this morning makes adjustments to the Public Safety Improvement Act to address the uptick in meth-related arrests.

SB 117 incentivizes the successful completion of treatment, increases training for prosecutors and focuses supervision resources on high risk offenders.

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