Gilbertson hopes for drug court expansion - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Gilbertson hopes for drug court expansion

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It's day two of South Dakota's 2013 legislative session and today, the state supreme court's chief justice delivered his State of the Judiciary speech.

Justice David Gilbertson says during his decades working in the criminal justice system, he has noticed a pattern when it comes to repeat offenders. "Nearly all those repeat offenders were committing crimes under the influence of alcohol...or purchase alcohol. Later came drug abuse where the same dynamic applied."

He went on to recommend expansion for courts that treat drug and alcohol offenders outside prison walls, in an effort to cut the state's prison costs. The chief justice says South Dakota's first drug and alcohol courts have successfully rehabilitated offenders so they can stay in the community, hold jobs, and support their families. He says the special courts should be expanded to more communities so South Dakota can avoid building new prisons.

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