‘Truth in sentencing’: Parole reform gets resounding endorsement from House
Former corrections secretary makes impassioned plea to halt presumptive parole overhaul
PIERRE — Warnings from South Dakota’s former corrections secretary weren’t enough to stop new mandatory minimums for violent felons from cruising through the South Dakota Legislature.
Representatives in the state House Tuesday resoundingly passed what’s been dubbed the “truth in sentencing” bill that, if signed by the governor, will require violent felons to complete no less than 85 percent of their prison sentences. And in cases of the most egregious acts of violence, offenders would no longer be eligible for parole at any point during their sentences.
Senate Bill 146 is a sweeping overhaul of the Department of Corrections’ presumptive parole system that sheriffs, mayors and state’s attorneys have criticized in the wake of headline-grabbing violent crimes in recent months.