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Evaluation Time Arrives for South Dakota Criminal Justice System Changes

One of the prime pieces of legislation that passed earlier this year was the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act.  It is also known as Senate Bill 70, which was offered by Governor Dennis Daugaard and endorsed by a venerable panel which sought to reform the state’s methods of administering justice.

The law went into effect on July 1, 2013 and also triggered the formation of an oversight council responsible for monitoring and reporting performance and outcomes related to the new rules.  At the council’s first meeting Jim Seward, who is Legal Counsel for Governor Daugaard, said all of the 25-30 policies laid out in SB 70 are all being implemented.  Seward also stated that all the various agencies affected by the Act are working together and the law is working as it is intended at this point.

Seward Says the Law Is Working Well So Far

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An example of SB 70’s tangible assets stems from the ability of parolees to earn credit.  Seward says other states that have a similar law in place have seen benefits to those who have fulfilled all the terms of their parole during the course of a month by getting a month of parole reduction.  Thus a sentence of 10 years of parole could be chopped to 5 years by following all the rules.

Seward Cites Great Incentive to Follow the Rules

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The South Dakota Public Safety Oversight Council will meet again in December and in April 2014.  Parties involved in the council include judges, defense attorneys, the Secretary of Corrections, states attorneys, legislators, the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Listen to the full interview below

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NEXT: SHIRLEY HALLEEN SOUTH DAKOTA HALL OF FAME

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