Governor Daugaard: Revisions to juvenile justice successful

PIERRE, S.D. (KSFY) - Governor Dennis Daugaard says a report released by the Juvenile Justice Public Safety Improvement Act Oversight Council shows reforms implemented in 2015 are getting the state on the right track.

Before the law went into effect, South Dakota had the second highest commitment rate in the country, and was 188 percent above the national average.

The report shows the reforms are working to combat that statistic.

"We are seeing more juveniles being treated in community programs that are better and less expensive than sending them to institutions," Daugaard said. "We're also seeing fewer juveniles re-offend. If they do get diverted to a program, that's working. They're not re-offending."

The governor said more families are getting involved in family therapy as well.

As part of the new law the state has awarded a quarter of a million dollars to counties for successfully diverting juvenile offenders from the criminal justice system.