Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Policy Reform │South Dakota


Following adoption of adult justice reinvestment reforms, South Dakota launched the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative in early 2014. A 17-member work group was established to study and develop policy options to increase public safety, hold juvenile offenders accountable and reduce juvenile justice costs. The Legislature enacted Senate Bill 73, the Juvenile Justice Public Safety Improvement Act, in 2015 based on work group recommendations. The reforms prevent juveniles from becoming further involved in the juvenile justice system, expand access to evidence-based community interventions, focus residential placements on youth who are a public safety risk and ensure quality and sustainability of the reforms.

Specifically, Senate Bill 73

  • Establishes criteria for referral to diversion and decreases the duration of diversion.
  • Sets up a process, including risk and needs assessment, to guide placement in community-based treatment.
  • Allows community response teams to assist judges in determining community-based interventions for children in need of services (CHINS) and delinquent youth.
  • Specifies the duration of probation for delinquent children or CHINS and authorizes extensions under specified circumstances.
  • Authorizes graduated sanctions and incentives for juvenile probationers.
  • Specifies which delinquency and CHINS violations are cited violations and potential dispositions.
  • Details circuit court and preliminary procedure for cited violations.
  • Enumerates criteria for an aftercare revocation hearing.
  • Limits the amount of time a child can be held in county detention.
  • Specifies criteria in order to commit a delinquent child or CHINS to the corrections department.
  • Requires juvenile corrections facilities programs be designed to achieve release to aftercare within three months.
  • Creates a juvenile justice detention cost-sharing fund to assist counties with increased juvenile detention expenses.
  • Creates a fiscal incentive program for counties who use diversion.
  • Establishes an oversight council.
  • Requires certain data reporting and performance measurement. Requires evaluation Native American children involved with the justice system.

Fiscal note of enacted bill

Bill summary of Senate Bill 73

Summaries and links to full legislation can also be found in NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Bill Tracking Database.

Additional Resources

Return to NCSL’s Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Policy Reform page or learn more about NCSL’s Juvenile Justice Program.