SD police chiefs say drug offenders causing spike in crime

Juvenile crime.
Juvenile crime.(AP)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 1:43 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Three South Dakota chiefs of police told a Senate committee this morning (Thursday) that repeat drug offenders are causing a spike in crime in the state--and often violent crimes.

They also said the current ways of dealing with drug offenders are not working, with too little prison space and too few drug addiction rehabilitation resources.

Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick says changes in the juvenile justice system often fail to deter juvenile offenders. “I don’t believe in locking up a lot of juveniles, believe me, but there are those instances where, again, we deal with the same juvenile again, and again, and again and it may be the juvenile’s situation and maybe the home that the juvenile is in,” Hedrick states.

The chiefs of police agreed that there needs to be more incarceration for drug users and more options for rehabilitation.

The police chiefs spoke this morning (Thursday) before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Todd Epp, South Dakota Broadcasters Association, contributed to this report.