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SD Tribe, State Officials Advance Parolee Project

May 9, 2014, 1:41 PM

PIERRE, SD -

Officials from the South Dakota Department of Corrections and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe have finalized an agreement on a pilot program for tribal members serving parole at home.

Sisseton-Wahpeton Chairman Robert Shepherd signed the agreement this week. Tribal officials have already begun to put the plan into effect.

The project is part of the state's 2013 Public Safety Improvement Act. Officials say recidivism rates in the state are higher among Native Americans.

Some parolees have returned to their reservations that lacked enough support services. Others have been placed off the reservation, making for a difficult transition.

The tribe will hire a parole agent to be funded and trained by the state Department of Corrections. The tribe will also set up a wellness team to help parolees.

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