Criminal Justice Reform

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Sister Helen Prejean is the author of "Dead Man Walking," "The Death of Innocents," and "River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey." She joins In the Moment ahead of a visit to the University of Sioux Falls for Criminal Justice Week. 

Lee Strubinger

In The Moment ... October 4, 2017 Show 191 Hour 1

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... August 23, 2107 Show 162 Hour 1

How has the way America uses jails changed over the years? What reforms are needed in the future? What reforms are needed urgently? The Safety and Justice Challenge is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It's goal is to help communities find ways to reduce over-incarceration. Today we welcome Rapid City Chief of Police Karl Jegeris and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s governor says he wants to fight methamphetamine by punishing bad behavior and reinforcing the good.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he wants to offer incentives to beat addiction. He says he supports allowing offenders who complete court-ordered treatment in a year one opportunity to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Daugaard says he also supports mandatory jail time for people on probation or parole who fail drug tests.

Minnehaha County officials are implementing a new assessment that flags defendants who present a risk to the community. The effort is designed to help judges determine whether someone accused of crime should be released before trial. The process combines multiple factors but eliminates identifiers such as race, income, education, and family status.

Denny Kaemingk, SD Secretary of the Department of Corrections, joins Dakota Midday to discuss the spike in numbers of female inmates in South Dakota, the challenges it brings, and the opportunities for alternate approaches to women and crime in the state.

Tim Purdon Twitter

A former U.S. Attorney for North Dakota says during his five years at the job, he saw countless cases of recidivism from reservations back to jail and prison. 

Tim Purdon addressed the South Dakota Substance Abuse Prevention study group.  The group is a summer committee made up of state lawmakers.  Purdon says to stop recidivism, law enforcement efforts must also include crime prevention.  He says more support is needed for those re-entering reservations from custody.

Purdon adds that prevention is cost effective.

Charles Michael Ray

Eric Whitcher is director of the Public Defender's Office of Pennington County. He joins Midday to discuss the impact of criminal justice reform in South Dakota, the impact of SB70 in the state, and the intersection between poverty and justice.

Meth, according to Sgt. Dale McCabe, is a drug without barriers. McCabe has worked with the Rapid City Police Department since 1990, overseeing all violent crime cases the past eight years. Rapid City has seen a record number of homicide and violent crime cases in 2015, directly connected with increased illegal drug use. McCabe joined Dakota Midday to discuss meth, criminal justice reform, and how to the cycle of meth addiction and crime through deterrence, education and prevention.

Since the late 1970s there has been a 15,000 percent increase in SWAT team raids in the United States. Tonight on SDPB-TV, tune in for the Independent Lens feature documentary “Peace Officer.” (8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT)

It’s a look at the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William “Dub” Lawrence. He founded the state of Utah’s first SWAT team and then, 30 years later watched SWAT officers as they surrounded his son-in-law, who stood with a gun to his head in his own driveway.

Inmates seek the wisdom of  Buddhism. Monk starts a poetry group inside the prison. Poets publish a book and donate the proceeds to Family Connection. Poet Lawrence Diggs joins Dakota Midday to tell the story.

The book is called “Prose and Cons: Poetic views from inmates detained by the South Dakota Department of Corrections."

Author Jim Reese’s poetry collection “Really Happy” is the second feature of the 2016 Dakota Midday Book Club.

Reese joins Midday to discuss how poetry has informed his role as father, the use of poetry in federal prison, and the importance of truth and second chances.

If you are a member of the Dakota Midday Book Club, our next  book will arrive in your mailbox before long. It's called "Worthy" by Denice Turner.

Pennington County is a finalist in the Safety and Justice Challenge, a grant program through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Sheriff Kevin Thom joins Dakota Midday to talk about what the department learned during the application process as well as criminal justice reforms.

Kevin Woster, KELO-TV Rapid City Bureau, and Seth Tupper, Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter, join Lori Walsh at SDPB Radio’s Dahl Arts Center studio in Rapid City to discuss this week’s political news in South Dakota. From how a contested Republican convention could benefit John Thune to the recently announced grant for mental health initiatives in the state, Tupper and Woster provide insight into the political topics of the week.

Suzan Nolan and Dorothy "Rowdy" Brewick recently returned from the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held March 14–24, 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York. They explain the  conditions of women throughout the world, the marginalization of incarcerated women, and what South Dakotans can do to make a difference in giving all women equity.

Tony Harrison is the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police national trustee. He’s also in charge of narcotics investigations with the Pennington County Sheriff's Department. Tony Harrison  joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about the FRONTLINE special “Chasing Heroin” on SDPB-TV, and whether or not heroin is a challenge for South Dakota law enforcement officers.

Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. CT, SDPB-TV airs the premiere of the new FRONTLINE documentary “Chasing Heroin.” 

This intense documentary explores how America is experimenting with radical new approaches to the drug problem in the face of a heroin epidemic.  Following four addicts in Seattle, the film probes U.S. drug policy and investigates what happens when addiction is treated like a public health crisis, not a crime. 

Governor Dennis Daugaard sits down with Dakota Midday Host Lori Walsh to discuss  education, criminal justice reform, transparency and accountability in state government and business, and a potential state park in Spearfish Canyon. 

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead and Chief Deputy Michelle Boyd say the time has come to begin work on a new jail in the state's most populated county. Milstead and Boyd discuss the reform initiatives designed to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail and the challenges to public safety of not having enough beds for local violent offenders.

Victoria Wicks

Rapid City criminal justice leaders are looking for ways to lower the disproportionate number of Native inmates in the Pennington County Jail. One suggestion offered at a meeting Tuesday is to survey inmates to find out what it would take to keep them out of jail. The community meeting was led by members of the Native American Outreach Subcommittee, part of a group vying for a grant through the MacArthur Foundation.