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Governor Proposes Changes in Justice System

South Dakota State Prison
South Dakota Department of Corrections

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has asked the South Dakota Legislature to make sweeping changes in the state’s criminal justice system to help cut prison costs.

Daugaard focused on the proposal in his State of the State address to open South Dakota’s 2013 legislative session.

The proposal would change state laws to lock up only dangerous offenders while treating more people convicted of nonviolent crimes outside prison walls.

The proposal is based on recommendations by a state panel appointed by Daugaard, Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson and legislative leaders. The panel says the changes are needed to avoid building two new state prisons in the next decade.

The recommendations include expanding probation, parole and programs that use intensive treatment programs to keep drug and alcohol offenders out of prison.

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