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September 03, 2012 06:27 AM

SD Northern Hills Drug Court Marks 5th Anniversary

piere, sd

The Northern Hills Drug Court is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a ceremony for the latest graduates to complete the program that keeps offenders out of prison if they complete a rehabilitation program.

State Sen. Craig Tieszen of Rapid City will deliver the keynote address Tuesday at a graduation ceremony for three clients at the Meade County Courthouse in Sturgis. Officials say 26 people have graduated from the alternative sentencing program since it started in September 2007.

The program allows convicted felons with drug problems to avoid prison if they remain clean and sober for at least a year. They also must complete extensive treatment services, pass frequent drug and alcohol tests and undergo intensive supervision.

South Dakota is establishing similar drug courts in other parts of the state.

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