The state Senate Judiciary Committee has passed the attorney general’s bill designed to limit presumptive probation for drug offenders.

When an inmate is convicted of a class five or class six felony, it’s assumed that person will be sentenced to probation. A judge can justify prison time if they think it’s necessary.

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg wants to change that. He says presumptive probation is tying judge’s hands and there’s no threat for the offender. Ravnsborg says cooperation has dried up since the legislature passed this in the criminal justice reform bill in 2013. 

Doug Abraham, the lobbyist for the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, spoke against the bill.

The measure passed by a vote of 5-2 and now moves to the Senate floor.

(Thanks, WNAX)