‘Truth in sentencing,’ parole reform halfway to passage
Senate adopts bill aimed at keeping violent criminals in prison longer
PIERRE — More violent criminals locked up in South Dakota prisons would be ineligible for parole under legislation that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday.
Senate Bill 146 proposes new policy dubbed “truth in sentencing” that would require violent felons to complete no less than 85 percent of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole. And for the most egregious violent crimes, like murder, an offender would have to serve 100 percent of his or her sentence.
The measure follows calls for parole reforms by mayors, sheriffs, police chiefs and states attorneys across South Dakota who say that too often violent offenders are being released from state custody after serving only a fraction of their prison sentences.
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