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Lawmakers Hold 1st Hearing on Justice Changes

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Legislature is holding its first committee hearing on a plan to cut prison costs and improve the rehabilitation of convicted criminals by treating more nonviolent offenders outside prison walls.

The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee is getting a briefing Tuesday on the plan and some projected costs of the changes in probation, parole and special courts that treat offenders with alcohol problems.

A formal hearing on the measure will be held later by the Senate State Affairs Committee. But the Appropriations Committee has to deal with the plan’s implications for the state budget.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson have asked lawmakers to support the proposal.

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