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SIOUX FALLS, SD—Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota (AFP-SD) and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota (ACLU-SD) today announce their joint opposition to Senate Bill 19. If passed, this legislation would repeal presumptive probation, originally instituted with a series of criminal justice reforms during the 2013 legislative session. Presumptive probation allows low-level offenders to rehabilitate their lives without adding to our overcrowded prison population.
AFP-SD State Director Don Haggar issued the following statement:
“We constantly seek policies that break barriers for South Dakotans, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen through having presumptive probation available in our criminal justice system. South Dakota’s criminal justice system should foster the improvement of individuals who have paid their debts to society and we vehemently oppose the barriers that are built by removing the option of presumptive probation.”
ACLU of South Dakota Policy Director Libby Skarin issued the following statement:
“South Dakota should preserve the presumptive probation reforms made in 2013 and recognize that prison terms for low-level offenders cause more harm than good by preventing offenders from staying in their communities where they can work and care for their families. Presumptive probation still allows judges to sentence low-level offenders to prison time if they believe it is warranted – a necessary element to ensuring judges make decisions based on their expertise and knowledge of the facts in each individual case.”
For further information or an interview with AFP, reach Nicole Tardif at NTardif@afphq.org or (571) 329-0161.
For further information or an interview with ACLU, reach Janna Farley at JFarley@aclu.org or (605) 366-7732.