KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

SD Drug Court Changing Lives, Expanding



Bookmark and Share

As of Wednesday 12 people have graduated from The Second Circuit Drug Court. The program was designed to help drug and alcohol addicts, who face prison time, sober up outside of prison walls. Now the life changing program is expanding state wide.

Drug Court started as an experimental program. In February, Senate Bill 70 was signed into law by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Now judges can send those facing felony drug charges to Drug Court, instead of prison. The results have been extremely positive for those who have completed the program. With the cost of just one inmate running at $25,000 a year, it’s saving the state money too.

"I had grown up into a world of drinking and drugs and it was really hard for me to get out of that," said Deanna Eagle Horse, a Drug Court Graduate.
   
Twenty-nine-year-old Eagle Horse said she thought graduation day from Drug Court would never come.
 After already being in prison once, Eagle Horse yet again found herself facing possibly more time after being charged with possession. But instead of being locked up in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, she was given the opportunity to do Drug Court.
     
 “It would have been easier to go back to that (prison) but I wanted to do something more for my life," said Eagle Horse.   

 Eagle Horse said she didn't want her daughter to grow up in a home with drugs and alcohol like she did.
     
Wednesday marked 605 days of sobriety for Eagle Horse.

"We hope to have at some point, both an alcohol and drug court in every town in South Dakota that is large enough to support them," said Chief Justice David Gilbertson, South Dakota Supreme Court.

Gilbertson said the program is about to expand to Mitchell and Watertown. The program in Sioux Falls and Rapid City will soon have both a drug and alcohol court.

"Contrary to what some may think, we don't take any joy in sending people to the penitentiary. I take even less joy seeing them go back into the penitentiary over, and over, and over again because of addictions," said Gilbertson.

Gilbertson said the program 'stops the revolving door' of addiction. The program gives nonviolent offenders, who face felony drug charges, a chance to sober up in the real world and have responsibilities.
    
For these four graduates, Wednesday marked a new beginning in their lives, because of a program that will soon give many more the same thing.  

“You have to find your own hope," Eagle Horse said. "You can’t depend on everyone else to give you that hope, and that guidance. You have to believe in yourself and go after what you want."

Eagle Horse said she hopes to one day own a horse ranch outside of Sioux Falls. There she would like to help others overcome their addictions.

While in Drug Court, participants have to do three urinary analyses a week and attend Drug Court once a week. They also must attend AA meetings. Other requirements include having a job or going to school, and maintaining some type of residence. Failure to do these may result in prison time.
 
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

Man Injured In Sioux Falls Assault

A man was taken to the hospital Sunday evening after he was cut on the head during a fight in ...

"Trains At Christmas" Displays Model Sets

Though it's still a month away, people got a little taste of Christmas on ...

Great Bear Recreation Park Officially Open   story with video

For all skiing or snowboarding enthusiasts, it's time to hit the slopes. ...

Sisseton Shooting Investigation Continues  Nov. 23

3 Arrested After Fatal Stabbing In Wagner  Nov. 23

Seeing Falls Park From A Different View  story with video  Nov. 23

SD Red Cross Volunteer Heading To Buffalo  Nov. 23

Group Offering Farming Training For Veterans  Nov. 23

Rapid City Residents Protest Starbucks Sign  Nov. 23

Sen. Johnson Raises Adoption Awareness  Nov. 23

South Dakota Workers "Hi-Rail" For Safety  Nov. 23

DOT Awards $1.1 Million To Small SD Cities  Nov. 23

SDSU Makes FCS Playoffs For 3rd Straight Year  story with video  Nov. 23

Jacks Crush Coyotes & Await Playoff Fate  story with video  Nov. 22

World's Largest Pillow Fight In Brookings  story with video  Nov. 22

Sisseton Shooting Leaves Four Dead   story with video  Nov. 22

SF's 1st Ever "Cranksgiving" Kicks Off  Nov. 22

The Push For SD Autism Insurance Reform Laws  story with video  Nov. 22

Fire Dept. Urges Caution With Turkey Fryers  Nov. 22

Group To Address Ditch Mowing Comments  Nov. 22

KDLT News Archive
     

Sisseton Homicide Suspect Found Dead

The man believed to be responsible for shooting and killing ...

Sisseton Shooting Leaves Four Dead   story with video

Four people are dead and one remains critically injured, after a ...

The Push For SD Autism Insurance Reform Laws  story with video

One in 68 kids in the United States is living with ...

World's Largest Pillow Fight In Brookings  story with video  Nov. 22

SDSU Makes FCS Playoffs For 3rd Straight Year  story with video  Nov. 23

SF's 1st Ever "Cranksgiving" Kicks Off  Nov. 22

Group To Address Ditch Mowing Comments  Nov. 22

Jacks Crush Coyotes & Await Playoff Fate  story with video  Nov. 22

KDLT News Archive
     

Coyotes Seek Improvement After Frustrating Season  story with video

BROOKINGS, S. D.   --  As their arch-rivals at South Dakota ...

Jacks Make FCS Playoffs & Will Play At Montana State  story with video

BROOKINGS, S. D.   --  For the third consecutive season, ...

Skyforce Fall To Iowa In Home Opener  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD (Nov. 22, 2014) – The Iowa Energy jumped out to a quick ...

O'Gorman, SF Christian & Warner Take State Volleyball Titles  story with video  Nov. 22

Dubuque Downs Stampede  story with video  Nov. 22

Augie Men Hold Off Presentation Rally  story with video  Nov. 22

ELITE AT LAST! SMSU Volleyball Wins Central Region  story with video  Nov. 22

Hennen's Lead Minneota/Lincoln HI To State Title  story with video  Nov. 22

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top