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January 18, 2013 12:22 PM

Criminal Justice Bill Passes Committee

pierre, sd

The criminal justice bill aimed at lowering the prison population in South Dakota is in committee for the first time.

The Public Safety Improvement Act passed the Senate State Affairs committee unanimously Friday after testimony from people who support and oppose the bill.

Those who support it say they like it because it brings down costs and allows for alternatives rather than just locking people up.

The idea of eliminating preliminary hearings for misdemeanor cases brought opposition.  People against the bill say that would keep people sitting in jail longer as authorities try to gather more evidence against them.

KELOLAND's Ben Dunsmoor was at the hearing and will have more of the discussion coming up on KELOLAND News.

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