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New Law Revamps Criminal Justice System

FILE: South Dakota State Prison, Sioux Falls
AlexiusHoratius/WikiMedia Commons

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A new law taking effect Monday seeks to cut South Dakota’s prison costs by treating more nonviolent offenders through intensive probation, parole and other programs outside prison walls.

Officials say that without the sweeping changes, the state would have to build a new men’s prison and a new women’s prison within the next decade or so.

Most of the new law takes effect Monday, but some provisions will be phased in over the next year.

The measure will feature intensive probation and parole, along with expanded special courts and other programs that treat drug and alcohol offenders. Those programs are intended to divert offenders from prison and prevent them from committing future crimes.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says the law will continue to provide severe punishment to dangerous criminals.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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