South Dakota Alcohol and Crime Briefs
- The Justice Management Institute recognized Judge Larry Long and Attorney Jackley for their outstanding work in developing and implementing a variety of justice reforms, including the 24-7 Sobriety Program.
- South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 70, which is expected to reduce the state’s burgeoning prison population by providing the resources necessary to expand probation, parole, and other programs. The law also provides prosecutors with the opportunity to seek more severe penalties for those who manufacture or distribute drugs.
- Governor Dauggard, Chief Justice Gilbertson, Senate Majority Leader Olson, and House Majority Leader Lust created the South Dakota Criminal Justice Initiative Working Group to examine the state’s correctional system and identify ways to (1) improve public safety by investing in programs, practices, and policies that have been proven to reduce recidivism; (2) hold offenders more accountable by strengthening community supervision; and (3) reduce corrections spending and focus prison space on violent, chronic, and career criminals.” The Group developed a package of recommendations that is expected to save approximately $200 million. The suggestions include increased usage of DUI and drug courts and the piloting of a supervision program based on Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE).
- At Attorney General Jackley’s request, the legislature passed and the Governor signed a law authorizing the use of ignition interlock devices in the 24-7 Sobriety Program. Visit http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/index.aspx for more information. NPAMC recognizes the 24-7 Sobriety Program as a national model.
*The South Dakota House Commerce Committee rejected a bill that would have lowered the minimum drinking age from 21 to 19 in a 10-3 vote.
- Former United States Attorney Marty J. Jackley was appointed to replace 24/7 Sobriety Program pioneer Larry Long as South Dakota Attorney General. Long resigned his post when he was appointed by the Governor as a Circuit Court Judge. Jackley has expressed his strong support of the 24-7 Program and commitment to improving the way the justice system addresses offenders with alcohol, drug, and mental health issues.
- The South Dakota Supreme Court became the first appellate court in the country to rule on the admissibility of transdermal alcohol monitoring. The court found that SCRAM results were admissible under the test because “[t]here was evidence that the underlying scientific process was widely accepted, the theories and techniques in question either had been or could be tested, the process has been subjected to some review and publication, and potential error rates are lower than some other accepted methods of measuring alcohol consumption.” Click here to download the opinion.
- Attorney General Larry Long, who conceived of and developed the award-winning 24/7 Sobriety Program, accepted an appointment to the bench.
- In addition, Long, in cooperation with South Dakota Health and Human Services, the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office, NPAMC, and the South Dakota 3rd Judicial Circuit, in August launched a research project that requires persons under arrest and lodged in jail to participate in a prescreen that is designed to test for co-occurring mental illness that is present along with an alcohol or drug dependency. The results of the prescreen and shared information will enable judges to then provide criminal justice stakeholders and public/private treatment providers with valuable information that will assist in applying appropriate treatment models. The effectiveness of the 24/7 Sobriety Project model, along with evaluation and treatment best practices, holds the most promise dealing long-term with drug and alcohol offenders.