On Tuesday, the South Dakota House passed what supporters are calling a “truth in sentencing bill. SB 146 would have the most violent criminals serve 100 percent of their sentences and the next tier, criminals would serve at least 85 percent of their sentences with no change to the parole process for non-violent offenders. The “truth in sentencing bill” is modeled after the federal criminal justice system of having a violent criminal serve all or most of their sentence. Bill sponsor, Republican Sue Peterson of Sioux Falls says law enforcement and her constituents want SB 146.
Opponents to the “truth in sentencing bill” say this is a “feel good” bill that will fill the state’s prison and provide inmates with no incentives to reform. Republican Representative Tim Reisch from Howard and a former Secretary of Corrections opposes the bill saying SB 146 will likely increase crimes.
The measure passed 53 to 17 and now heads to Governor Kristi Noem for consideration.
(Thanks, Todd Epp – South Dakota Broadcasters Association)