Governor Dennis Daugaard is backing a package of reforms to the state’s criminal justice system.
The changes include an effort to reduce prison overcrowding through the use of alternative punishments for non-violent offenders such as random drug and alcohol testing.
Daugaard says without reforms the state will see a 25-percent increase in prison population forcing the construction of two new prisons in the next decade.
“If implement the recommendations in the final report are estimated to save our state 200-million dollars in averted construction and operating costs in the next decade. More importantly these recommendations will hold offenders more accountable and make our state safer. What more could we want,” says Daugaard.
Lawmakers are considering the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act during this year’s legislative session in Pierre.