Answering the Call: Drug Courts in South Dakota

By Eckrich, Jerome; Loudenburg, Roland | South Dakota Law Review, Summer 2012 | Go to article overview

Answering the Call: Drug Courts in South Dakota


Eckrich, Jerome, Loudenburg, Roland, South Dakota Law Review


I. INTRODUCTION

In 1989, Florida became the first state in the union to implement a drug court. In 2007, South Dakota became the last. On July 1, 2007, South Dakota launched its first drug court--the Northern Hills Drug Court ("NHDC") of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Based in Sturgis, SD, NHDC's success helped launch two more drug courts--in Pierre and Sioux Falls.

The term "drug court" is a misnomer. "Problem-solving" court better describes the court's function and intent. Communities develop a "problem-solving" court unique to their problems and their resources. For example, the first drug court in Miami, Florida was created to combat the major influx of cocaine into South Florida. In South Dakota, the Sixth Circuit's Stop DUI program was created as a problem-solving court to handle felony drunk drivers.

As of December 31, 2009, there were 2,459 drug courts in the United States, including adult, DWI, juvenile, family, tribal, campus, and veteran treatment courts. In addition, there were 1,189 problem-solving courts other than drug courts including truancy, mental health, domestic violence, child support, homelessness, prostitution, gun, parole violation and gambling courts. This article uses the term drug court to describe problem-solving courts in general. Although SD entered the field late, it benefited from the experience and the expertise of other states. (1)

This article attempts to do three things: (1) describe the history of South Dakota's drug courts, (2) provide an overview of the drug court model, including an empirical demonstration of NHDC's successful outcomes, and (3) survey some of the evolving legal issues unique to drug courts.

II. THE HISTORY OF DRUG COURTS IN SOUTH DAKOTA

In 2005, faced with skyrocketing methamphetamine use coupled with substantial incarceration costs, the South Dakota criminal justice system was overwhelmed. Opportunities to reduce recidivism for the addicted were few. The classic sentencing theory--punishment and isolation--was doing nothing to change the behavior of the addicted.

Beginning in mid-2005 a volunteer steering committee was formed to explore the possibility of creating a drug court in South Dakota's Fourth Circuit. (2) Following approval by Chief Justice David Gilbertson, the steering committee spent the next two years laying the groundwork for creation of the Northern Hills Drug Court. In 2006, a grant was obtained that provided the necessary funding for the nascent drug court. In July 2007, NHDC was founded and in September 2007 it accepted its first participant.

Originally, the NHDC served South Dakota's Fourth Circuit. In 2010-2011, the NHDC was expanded to include the Seventh Circuit. This combination allowed the Seventh Circuit judges to sentence felony drug offenders into NHDC. As of December 19, 2011, the NHDC had accepted forty-eight participants.

Two additional communities, Pierre and Sioux Falls, have answered the call for a problem-solving court. In 2007, under the leadership of Judge (now Justice) Loft Wilbur, the Pierre/Ft. Pierre community tackled the felony drunk-driving problem with its Stop DUI program. As of December 31, 2011, the Stop DUI court has accepted a total of thirty-four participants.

The most recent entry is the Sioux Falls drug court initiated by Circuit Court Judge Patricia Riepel. The Second Circuit Drug court, in operation since 2010, targets the multiple offenders, drug abusers who, but for drug court, are prison bound.

2012, however, ushers in a new era. In recognition of SD's success with the drug court model, the legislature, with endorsement from the Governor's office, appropriated funds to add two DUI courts. This will bring the total number to five problem-solving courts in the state of South Dakota. The Unified Judicial System hopes to implement expansion with the goal to have a DUI court and a drug court in each circuit within the next five to six years.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Answering the Call: Drug Courts in South Dakota
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.