PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A new state law will make big changes in the way South Dakota handles criminal offenders placed on probation.
Most offenders released on probation will be able to reduce their sentences if they behave themselves. Those who violate probation will face swift consequences from penalties tied to the severity of their transgressions.
The probation changes are part of the court system’s role in the overhaul of South Dakota’s criminal justice system. Most parts of the overhaul took effect July 1, but the changes in the probation system were delayed until Jan. 1.
The overhaul is designed to handle more nonviolent offenders outside of prison to avoid building new prisons.
Officials say the changes are designed to help people succeed on probation so they don’t wind up in prison.