The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

South Dakota Focuses on Criminal Justice Reform

| August 1, 2012

South Dakota spends about $100 million on its prisons each year. On its current trajectory, prison populations in the state would swell by 25 percent, requiring two new prisons, and tacking on $224 million over the next decade.

Just like Texas lawmakers who chose to hold the line back in 2005, South Dakotans are now looking for another way: a more effective criminal justice system that protects the public safety without unnecessary costs.

Lawmakers are convening with judges, agency staff, and other stakeholders in the Criminal Justice Initiative work group to consider why South Dakota has a much higher incarceration rate than its neighboring states, what local initiatives are successful in that state, and whether procedural streamlining would aid the system.

Similar efforts across the nation have saved millions while increasing public safety as measured by crime rates. South Dakota is wise to join the trend.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.