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November 14, 2017 12:07 PM

Suspended Sentences-A Fix To Crowded Prisons?

A statewide meth epidemic is starting to hit South Dakota hard as many of its jails and prisons are crowded.

The incarceration rate has boomed over the past year and a half as law enforcement arrest more people for using meth, especially women.

To date, there are 532 women serving time while there's only room to house 525 inmates.

"We grew about six percent between fiscal year 2016 and 2017," Laurie Feiler, deputy secretary with the South Dakota Department of Corrections, said. "That's the biggest percentage growth since 2005, 2006. That's 300 above what we budgeted for by the end of the fiscal year."

Because of crowding, the criminal justice system looks at different types of sentences, including suspended sentences.

Tonight on KELOLAND News starting at 5 p.m., Casey Wonnenberg talks with correctional officials and a woman worried that the man who is responsible for their son's death won't spend any time behind bars.
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