Americans for Prosperity and American Civil Liberties Union Come Together to Support Presumptive Probation 

(Well, this isn’t something you see every day… – editor PP)

Americans for Prosperity and American Civil Liberties Union Come
Together to Support Presumptive Probation 

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota (AFP-SD) and the American Civil Liberties Union  of South Dakota (ACLU-SD) today announce their joint opposition to Senate Bill 19. If passed, this legislation would repeal presumptive probation, originally instituted with a series of criminal justice reforms during the 2013 legislative session. Presumptive probation allows low-level offenders to rehabilitate their lives without adding to our overcrowded prison population.

AFP-SD State Director Don Haggar issued the following statement:

“We constantly seek policies that break barriers for South Dakotans, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen through having presumptive probation available in our criminal justice system. South Dakota’s criminal justice system should foster the improvement of individuals who have paid their debts to society and we vehemently oppose the barriers that are built by removing the option of presumptive probation.”

ACLU of South Dakota Policy Director Libby Skarin issued the following statement:

“South Dakota should preserve the presumptive probation reforms made in 2013 and recognize that prison terms for low-level offenders cause more harm than good by preventing offenders from staying in their communities where they can work and care for their families. Presumptive probation still allows judges to sentence low-level offenders to prison time if they believe it is warranted – a necessary element to ensuring judges make decisions based on their expertise and knowledge of the facts in each individual case.

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27 Replies to “Americans for Prosperity and American Civil Liberties Union Come Together to Support Presumptive Probation ”

  1. duggersd

    My yardstick on whether a bill should be passed has to do with whether there is a problem that the bill will address. Are there problems associated with presumptive probation? If so, what? Surely there must be a reason, right?

    Reply
      1. Peter

        Hardly, it is a good bill that makes a lot of sense. These people are violating the law, hence there is punishment for it. Letting people off for violating a crime with probation is not the right way. If you don’t want these people in jail, then change the law that puts them in jail and you don’t need probation anymore.

        Law dictates crime = punishment = jail time
        Law dictates not a crime = no punishment = no jail time

        Reply
    1. a friend of education

      I take your meaning. Politics makes strange bedfellows. It might be prudent to ally with the ACLU against some monstrous evil, just as we once allied with Stalin against Hitler. But surely you’ll admit that if 2019’s ACLU supports any proposition it’s quite likely one hostile to conservative principles. Thus, we should proceed with *extreme* caution. If you believe as I do that SD law enforcement does a good job overall, you’d support expanding its ability to fight crime and lock up crooks. If you find SD law enforcement corrupt/overzealous, you’d rather its power be curtailed. Ending Presumptive Probation gives prosecutors more power. I trust they’ll use it wisely, battling the meth and opioid menace. No, I can’t be certain what the future holds, but I’d take that leap of faith. I’d award them more power & see what happens, all the while hoping and praying that dangerous criminals are jailed and innocent lives saved. Yet, I recognize that others, good-hearted men and women, feel otherwise.

      Reply
      1. Anon

        Presumptive probation isn’t for “dangerous criminals”. It’s for low-level, nonviolent offenders. It’s for the users, not the dealers. Users need treatment and support, dealers need jail time.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          We don’t arrest dealers anymore because users have no reason to turn them in…they already have a deal with the state SB 70 protects them

          Reply
          1. a friend of education

            Right. In practice, we should offer probation w/ treatment to every non-violent addict who provides credible evidence leading to a dealer’s conviction. If addicts get probation regardless, most won’t cooperate –> more dealers and kingpins remain at large. I admit: there’s a chance prosecutors misuse this increased bargaining power. It’s a risk, but I trust (and hope and pray) that our law enforcement community will deploy it wisely, honorably, & judiciously, working to keep South Dakota safe.

            Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Most of what they say simply isn’t true. Repealing presumptiive probation does not, in any way keep a judge from granting probation right off the bat.

    If you support SB70, better look at when the meth crisis began, amazing isn’t it? Right at the same time.

    Reply
    1. Messaging problem?

      The AG claimed that repealing PP will not necessarily mean fewer people will be granted probation, it just gives the judge more discretion. That is illogical, no? If a judge uses his discretion to deny probation to even one person that would have otherwise received PP, is that not an increase? Not speaking to the merits of the AG’s proposal, but that is an illogical conclusion.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      And consumption of ice cream correlates tightly with drowning deaths. Does ice cream cause drowning? No. It’s because people are more likely to swim and eat ice cream when it is hot outside. Correlation != causation. Read a book.

      Reply
  3. SDGOPer

    Repealing presumptive probation will lead to needing at least 2 more jails in our state, likely at a cost of a couple hundred million dollars. That’s not the answer to the meth problem.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Like our new 48 million dollar jail in Minnehaha…oh wait that is being built because presumptive probation is working so well…. NOT

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Couldn’t be due to the exploding population of South Dakota’s largest city. Gotta be due to presumptive probation.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    The States Attorneys; Sheriffs, Fraternal Order of Police and Police Chiefs support the repeal…the ACLU stands against it….that tells me everything I need to know…

    REPEAL

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    REPEAL! Do the crime and serve the time! Besides there is an affordable housing shortage in SD. Put the to work building Governors houses and cleaning up those Superfund sites.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    PP never stopped judges from sending people to prison. It just gave them an option to use probation in a reduced sentence.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Clearly you do not know the law or have talked to any judges…presumptive probation does not work… judges hands our tied

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I have read the law. Judges can, and do, deviate from choosing probation over prison. All a judge has to do is make a finding on the record that a deviation from the presumption is warranted by various aggravating facts. Those facts aren’t defined by any statute so any reason a judge has to make a deviation is reason enough under the law.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          If they can find aggravating circumstances …if they can’t no dice

          So why do yo not want judges to have their discretion back?

          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            As I said before, there is no definition by statute so a judge can give any reason. What part of that takes discretion away? The judge can literally say, due to the nature of the crime that was committed, you will serve jail time instead of probation. By definition, that is reason enough.

            Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Judges must enter specific findings of fact and conclusions of law about aggravating circumstances in order to send someone to the pen under presumptive probation.

    Why are you people so scared of the judiciary? Do you really think with the repeal of presumptive probation our judges will start throwing people in the pen? Or is it just the fact that SB70 is a failure and you are too arrogant to admit it?

    Reply

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