Governor's Reentry Council
Governor Mike Rounds issued an executive order March 11, 2009 to create a special council to deal with the issue of state prison system recidivism, or the return to prison or jail of people who have been freed and commit more crimes.
Approximately 2,000 inmates are released from state prisons, parole and suspended-sentence supervision each year. Nearly 30 percent of them return to prison within one year because they are convicted of subsequent crimes or violate terms of their parole or suspended sentence supervision.
The new council brings together various state officials in an effort to reduce recidivism by concentrating on the needs of people released from state custody. Most inmates being released from prison have individual needs that must be addressed in the community upon their release, including substance abuse, medical and mental health issues, education, employment and housing. If these needs are not met, the inmate is at greater risk for committing new crimes and returning to prison.
The Reentry Council has established a Reentry Workgroup to serve as a statewide multi-disciplinary implementation team to identify existing services as well as gaps and barriers in those services for inmates in the community.
Reentry Task Forces are in place in both Sioux Falls and Rapid City, made up of local leaders and community-based organizations that provide services to offenders. The Task Forces are also assisting in soliciting support and involvement in transition efforts at the community level.