The US Attorney’s office and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have come to a new agreement that aims to help inmates transition back into life outside prison.
The overall goal is to reduce crime and recidivism by helping newly released inmates integrate back into tribal communities.
Troy Morley is the Tribal Liaison for the US Attorney’s office in South Dakota. He says currently the halfway houses used by former prisoners are outside the reservation. Morley says this causes problems for those just released who want to visit home.
“People come out of prison after serving a sentence and they typically have a period of supervised release that follows their term of incarceration," says Morley. He adds, "Now they will go to a half-way house and could be in Rapid City it could be in Sioux Falls really their goal is they want to go home. They want to go home to Standing Rock. And, we see a lot of problems in that regard when they leave. They’ll leave the halfway houses, they will head back to Standing Rock, nobody knows where they are, and they will violate the terms of their supervised release and they go back into prison.”
Morley says the agreement between the Standing Rock Tribal Council and the US Attorney’s office opens the door for a new plan to support rehabilitation of former inmates in a culturally appropriate way.