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.


40° 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!

 

Most Popular Today


Iowa Judge Talks Film, Prisons

January 4, 2013, 9:59 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Iowa Judge Talks Film, Prisons
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Two groups are pushing to put the state’s prisons on top of South Dakota legislators’ 2013 docket. The ACLU and South Dakota Families First turn to a documentary to elevate the issue, following the release of a final report of the South Dakota Criminal Justice Initiative work group completed late last year. It found that if the state doesn't change its incarceration guidelines, millions of dollars will have to be invested in new prisons over the next ten years.

“I think it's just unconscionable that a low level drug user will get a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence and it happens every week in our court,” Iowa Federal Court Judge Mark W. Bennett said.

Bennett's Iowa bench is among the most crowded in the country. He's sent more than 3,500 offenders to federal prison, many of them for low level drug crimes. And Bennett has put that experience on film.

“And it costs so much money,” Bennett said. “So the social costs go far beyond the costs of incarcerating an inmate. And if we pent a tenth of the money we do on incarceration on treatment, society would be much better off.”

Bennett is featured in the documentary, "The House I Live In." It examines the nation’s growing prison population due, in part, to the war on drugs. In the end, he says prisons rarely fill up with drug king pins, but the low level users, which doesn't cut the root of the problem.

“Over 50 percent are drug addicts serving very lengthy mandatory minimum sentence on drug crimes and I think that's just unconscionable,” he said.

South Dakota isn't immune to the issue either. A prison initiative study says the state outpaced national trends, increasing by 500 percent over 30 years to more than 3,600 inmates in 2012. More than 80 percent of new prisoners sentenced were non-violent crimes.

“I'm not saying most defendants don't deserve some period of incarceration. I think they probably do,” Bennett said.

If things don't change, the taxpayer cost could mean more than 220 million more dollars pumped into the state's prison system over ten years. The state criminal justice initiative set up a number of recommendations to change penalties to reduce the costs. It’s up to legislators to decide beginning this month if the proposals will become reality.

Another showing of "The House I Live In" is set for Saturday afternoon in Rapid City.

Click here to read the full report.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Four Dead In Sisseton Shooting

11/22/2014 7:09 AM

South Dakota authorities are searching for a Sisseton man following a shooting early Saturday morning that left four people dead and another person in...

Full Story
Name Of Person Who Died In Deadly Crash Released

11/16/2014 1:35 PM

Authorities have released the name of the person who died in a crash on Interstate 29 near Brookings on Saturday.

Full Story
UPDATE: Sisseton Homicide Suspect Found Dead In Home

11/22/2014 10:40 AM

Colter Richard Arbach has been located and identified as one of the four people shot and killed this morning in Sisseston.

Full Story
New Charges Filed Against Faith Rasmussen

11/19/2014 4:59 PM

She's already admitted to running a large marijuana ring, now Faith Rasmussen is accused of arranging a deadly robbery.

Full Story
SF Teen Surprised By Garth Brooks

11/19/2014 2:17 PM

A legendary country music star gives support to a Sioux Falls family while their teenage daughter was in a Minneapolis hospital last week.

Full Story


Events