Keeping criminals out of jail is a major goal for state lawmakers and law enforcement.
They're not going soft on crime but instead lawmakers are looking for a better way to handle non-violent offenders.
State lawmakers say funding South Dakota's criminal justice reform is an investment in our state's future.
"There are going to be some initial costs up front but generally speaking, I'm convinced this will help the state save money." State Representative Jim Bolin says South Dakota's criminal justice reform initiative focuses on rehabilitation instead of incarceration. "it's clearly a different approach. I believe it's a better and more cost effective way of dealing non-violent offenders. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the people in our penitentiaries are non-violent offenders."
And stopping the revolving door of repeat offenders and treating their addictions is the goal of the state's criminal justice reform initiative. We were able to get Attorney General Marty Jackley's thoughts. "Hold people accountable but then get them back to their families and save the taxpayer money. Then, reserve the expensive part of the criminal justice system for those really bad actors, for the murderers, the violent criminals that we need to focus on."
And with a proposed start-up cost of more than four million -- Senator Deb Peters believes it's necessary to find a more efficient way of spending taxpayer dollars. "We're seeing the corrections budget increase at an alarming rate. It's growing faster than any other state in our surrounding area. What we're trying to do is try to slow down the growth of our corrections system."
With a long term goal of saving taxpayer money and increasing public safety, criminal justice reform could provide a win-win situation for the state.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises. Some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides inMore >>
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises, some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides in research are happening on South Dakota's fields.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:34 AM EST2014-03-07 14:34:24 GMT
The clock is ticking on healthcare registration. Avera is holding open houses to help last-minute shoppers learn more about their health care options. Agents are available tonight until 7 and SaturdayMore >>
Avera is holding open houses to help last-minute shoppers learn more about their health care options.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:32 AM EST2014-03-07 14:32:22 GMT
You can now browse the PREMIER Center website.The event center's logo and website were released today. "There will be more information to come as we get closer to the opening of the Denny Sanford PREMIERMore >>
You can now browse the PREMIER Center website.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:16 AM EST2014-03-07 14:16:23 GMT
Sioux Falls police are investigating an incident where shots were fired early this morning.Officers were called to 209 N. Dogwood Place around 1:30 this morning.No one was injured and the investigationMore >>
Sioux Falls police are investigating an incident where shots were fired early this morning.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:47 AM EST2014-03-07 13:47:06 GMT
Sioux Falls Police are investigating a home where six gun shots were fired early Friday morning. Police responded to a 911 call from a neighbor just after 1:00am Friday who heard the shots at 209 N DogwoodMore >>
No injuries after six shots fired early Friday morning in NW Sioux FallsMore >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 10:30 PM EST2014-03-07 03:30:09 GMT
Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and serious heart problems. It essentially means a valve isn't working like it should and requires surgery. It's a fix that many patients aren't qualified toMore >>
Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and serious heart problems. It essentially means a valve isn't working like it should and requires surgery. It's a fix that many patients aren't qualified to get, until now.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 10:14 PM EST2014-03-07 03:14:24 GMT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A 14-year-old St. Paul boy has pleaded guilty to stealing an idling school bus and crashing it at a gas station. The boy pleaded guilty Thursday in juvenile court to motor vehicleMore >>
Police say the boy jumped aboard and took the bus on a two-mile ride before crashing it at another gas station in Roseville.More >>