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 >
     

Clerical Error Delays 4th Tea Bond Vote   story with video

Tuesday was supposed to be a big day at the polls for the residents of Tea ...

Radisson Suspends Vikings Sponsorship

The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota ...

SD Gets $1.2M For Unemployment Insurance Programs

South Dakota has received more than $1. 2 million from the U. S. Department ...

Parents Learn About Social Media  Sep. 15

SD Inmate's Death Ruled A Homicide  story with video  Sep. 15

Discipline Vs. Child Abuse: Where's The Line?  story with video  Sep. 15

South Dakota Teen Loses Her Battle With Cancer   story with video  Sep. 15

SD Board Adopts New Physical Education Standards  Sep. 15

Keystone XL Operator Asks For PUC Recertification  Sep. 15

Sioux Falls Mayor Travels To ND Oil Boomtown  Sep. 15

SF Officer Injured In Motorcycle Accident Released From Hospital  Sep. 15

SD Prison Inmate Death Ruled A Homicide  Sep. 15

Police Find Missing Sioux Falls Teen  Sep. 15

Slice Of Black Hills National Forest Being Sold  Sep. 15

Alcohol-Related Problems High In Rapid City  Sep. 15

South Dakota Bucks Trend Of Dwindling Sales Tax  Sep. 15

Nugent Holds Youth Outdoors Camp In South Dakota  Sep. 15

Officials Seek Input On Deadwood Visitor Center  Sep. 14

SF Regional Airport Celebrates 75 Years  Sep. 14

Children's Museum of SD Celebrates Birthday  Sep. 14

KDLT News Archive
     

South Dakota Teen Loses Her Battle With Cancer   story with video

A South Dakota community is mourning the loss of one of ...

SD Prison Inmate Death Ruled A Homicide

A death certificate filed with the Minnehaha County ...

Police Find Missing Sioux Falls Teen

Sioux Falls Police say they found a teenage girl who had been ...

SF Officer Injured In Motorcycle Accident Released From Hospital  Sep. 15

Slice Of Black Hills National Forest Being Sold  Sep. 15

Sioux Falls Mayor Travels To ND Oil Boomtown  Sep. 15

SD Board Adopts New Physical Education Standards  Sep. 15

SD Inmate's Death Ruled A Homicide  story with video  Sep. 15

KDLT News Archive
     

Roosevelt bats sweep Mitchell   story with video

The top-ranked Roosevelt softball team swept 2 from Mitchell Monday night at Sherman ...

Vining, Lincoln lead Boys City Golf after 36  story with video

Tommy Vining shot a second round 71 at Willow Run to take a 5-shot lead over ...

Lundquist Passing Life & Roncalli's Tests  story with video

ABERDEEN, S. D.   --  Rushing is the trademark of Aberdeen Roncalli ...

Vikings statement on Adrian Peterson  Sep. 15

Vikings Reinstate Peterson After Abuse Charge  Sep. 15

Parsley's Pick Six Leads Northern To Victory  story with video  Sep. 14

Gridiron Greatness: September 14th, 2014  story with video  Sep. 14

Coyotes Can't Escape Bear Trap (Again)  story with video  Sep. 14

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top