User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


26° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Drug Court Changing Lives As Program Expands

September 18, 2013, 6:00 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Drug Court Changing Lives As Program Expands
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

There are often tears inside a courtroom but Wednesday, Sarah Barros wasn't crying because she is at a low point in her life.

"I owe my life to this program," Barros said.

Barros cried in front of a room full of officers, judges, lawyers and family members because she says the Sioux Falls drug court program helped turn her life around.

"This program and all the people involved in it have truly saved my life and helped me to become the Sarah that I am today, the person that I once was, the person that I lost and thought I would never find again, and the person who I am in this very moment today," Barros said.

The moment Barros is celebrating is her 630th sober day and her graduation from drug court.  It's a program that keeps nonviolent drug offenders out of prison and holds them accountable by making them go to regular meetings and court appearances with the threat of jail time hanging over their heads.

"It's not very often you get a win-win deal but this is," South Dakota Chief Justice David Gilbertson said.

Gilbertson attended the graduation of Barros and three others Wednesday in Sioux Falls just as South Dakota prepares to begin a new drug court in Mitchell and start up a DUI court in Sioux Falls and Rapid City in October.  It's all part of the criminal justice initiative passed by the legislature earlier this year.

"Usually when you have a proposal, it's, 'We think it will work,' and here we knew it would work because we had programs that started as experimental that showed it was successful," Gilbertson said.

The successes aren't just measured in savings to the system but also in the benefits to society. Deanna Eaglehorse graduated Wednesday. She says drug court didn't just help her; it helped her young daughter.

"You changed that little girl's life. She doesn't have to grow up with a mom passed out. She doesn't have to see me ruining my life and throwing it away and hurting her," Eaglehorse said.

And that's why Gilbertson wants to see this program reach more mothers, fathers and families across South Dakota.

"It's my goal, and hope, before I leave office as Chief Justice is to have both an alcohol and drug court in every city in the state that's large enough to host one," Gilbertson said.

With the expansion next month, there will be five drug court programs across the state and four DUI courts.

The dozen graduates of the Sioux Falls drug court have saved taxpayers more than $1 million in prison costs since the program was started in 2011.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Dominic Fischer Found Dead During Search

12/17/2014 12:07 PM

Searchers discovered the body of Dominic Fischer in a field on Wednesday.

Full Story
Alexis Vanbochove Has Passed Away

12/17/2014 10:47 AM

According to her family, 4-year-old Alexis Vanbochove passed away early Wednesday morning.

Full Story
Grain Bin Collapses In Britton

12/14/2014 5:55 PM

A grain bin in Britton, SD collapsed this afternoon. No one was injured.

Full Story
Don't Jerk And Drive Campaign Pulled

12/11/2014 8:51 PM

A new ad campaign aimed at keeping drivers safe on South Dakota roads, received a bigger negative response than expected.

Full Story
Man Missing After Vehicle Slides Into Ditch

12/16/2014 9:50 PM

Dominic Fischer was one of three people in a vehicle that slid into a ditch due to bad road and weather conditions, several miles north east of M...

Full Story


Events