A drug conviction in South Dakota will come with many consequences. You may find that it affects every aspect of your life. Even minor offenses can have a big impact. It is not just you who faces consequences. It also puts a strain on the overcrowded justice system and on taxpayers. So, leaders want to find better ways to deal with drug convictions than just sending you to jail.
One idea that is showing a lot of promise in other states is special programs offering treatment and other alternative sentences. Drug court programs are common in many states. Capital Journal explains that such alternative options can allow you not to just learn from your crime but to recover from substance abuse.
Treatment not punishment
The idea behind alternative punishment is that it is not punishment at all. You would attend treatment to help with your substance abuse issues. This could change your life forever. Not only will you be able to avoid going to jail, but you can receive help to stop using drugs. This may save your life.
Keeps you in the community
Many people are able to attend treatment and carry out the other penalties they receive on their own under minimal supervision. This means you stay at home and in your community. In some cases, you may have to go live in a treatment facility, but even this is far better than having to stay in jail or prison. Plus, you are receiving help, which may lead to a better life overall.
Punishing someone for using drugs rarely works to make them stop. Alternative programs show great results. If the state uses them more often, you could find that a drug charge is actually the best thing to happen to you.