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South Dakota Launches Tribal Parole Pilot Program

August 12, 2014

Tribal Parole Pilot Program


A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:


Last year, we passed historic legislation in South Dakota to reform our criminal justice system. These reforms were enacted to improve public safety, hold offenders more accountable and reduce corrections spending.


When we met with stakeholders before drafting the legislation, tribal members brought a parole issue forward. Today, nearly 30 percent of the inmates in the state prison system are Native American. More than half of parolees who abscond from the state parole supervision are Native Americans. In many of these cases, the absconders are returning to one of the reservations, where they often have homes and families.  Unfortunately, because the state lacks jurisdiction on the reservations, state parole agents can no longer supervise parolees who return to a reservation.

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