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South Dakota's Senate Bill 73: Comprehensive Reform Implementation Successes

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Date Published
1 page
This report summarizes the provisions of South Dakota's juvenile justice reform legislation (Bill 73), features of the technical assistance for implementing it, and the outcomes of the implementation.
The objectives of this legislation are to prevent justice-involved youth from becoming more deeply involved in the justice system, limiting out-of-home placements, and reinvesting savings from limiting the costly confinement of youth in community-based supervision and treatment. Specifically, the legislation creates a citation process for minor juvenile violations and expands diversion for lower level offenses. It specifies commitment criteria for youth adjudicated for serious offenses and establishes presumptive probation lengths with graduated responses for supervision violations. In the area of community-based reinvestments, the legislation implements a performance-based reimbursement structure with private providers, and launches a statewide implementation of "functional family therapy." Technical assistance for the implementation of these legislative provisions included the development of materials designed to support a citations system and expanded diversion process. A validated risk assessment tool was established, and probation officers were trained in graduated responses that focus on improving and sustaining probationers' new skills. Performance measures were developed for the monitoring of community programs and the tracking of key system indicators. One outcome from the implementation of this legislation was a $3.2 million investment in support of changes that included the expansion of diversion. Also, $242,500 was reinvested in community-based programs in 26 counties. A 50-percent reduction in new commitments and a 62-percent reduction in probation violations were achieved, along with a 9 percent increase in completed probation cases. There was an upfront investment of $6.1 million in the expansion of juvenile community corrections services.

Date Published: January 1, 2017