UPDATE: House lawmakers passed Senate Bill 146. The bill now goes to Gov. Noem's desk for her signature.
Senate Bill 146 would limit parole for certain offenders.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes Senate Bill 146. This bill prescribes a one-size-fits-all solution to a very complex issue. It eliminates hope for whole families, increases cost of the prison system, and lacks a sufficiently careful and thoughtful approach for real people’s lives. Throwing away the key is not the answer.
Through the length of a sentence, there is a lot of time in which people can be helped to change and improve, then assessed to see whether they have progressed to a point where they can safely participate in society.
A legislative committee should not be responsible for an overhaul of the parole system. The topic should be studied extensively by a task force, and any changes to the system should be approached with careful consideration.