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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Juvenile Corrections Numbers Improve

There are fewer kids being put into juvenile detention. Lawmakers learned about the numbers Monday and Juvenile Corrections personnel say it’s because of their system.

The Department of Corrections officials told the Joint Appropriations Committee about current programs and successes. Doug Herman is the Juvenile Services Director for the Department of Corrections in South Dakota. He says the average daily rate of juveniles in correctional programs has decreased throughout the last decade. Herman says youth offenders benefit from a different kind of program from what we know as adult corrections where offenders serve a specific amount of time.

"The system isn’t really based on the amount of time, but how successful you are in completing the expectations of the various programs. So it’s not time driven, it’s kind of results driven," Herman says.

Some of the programs offered through the Juvenile Corrections are vocational related activities. Herman says the most popular activities for males are building or welding and females prefer educational activities. He says about 76 percent of the Juveniles who go through the program never return.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.