PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota Senate panel has approved a wide-ranging plan to cut prison costs by treating more nonviolent offenders outside of prison walls.
The State Affairs Committee voted unanimously Friday to approve the measure, which is supported by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson and legislative leaders. The bill next goes to the full Senate.
The measure calls for using intensive probation and parole, along with special courts and other programs for drug and alcohol offenders. Officials say it will improve public safety by cutting the number of inmates who return to prison because they commit new offenses after being released.
Supporters say if nothing is done, South Dakota will have to build a new men’s prison and a new women’s prison in the next decade.
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