- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota releases fewer inmates without supervision than the national average, a new study says.

The report from the Pew Charitable Trust says the number of inmates nationwide who maxed out their sentences in prison and were released without supervision grew 119 percent between 1990 and 2012. The unsupervised inmates represented 22 percent of all prisoners released in 2012.

In South Dakota, the figure was a little under 18 percent.

“Our system is designed to get people out on parole,” Corrections Deputy Secretary Laurie Feiler told the Argus Leader newspaper (https://argusne.ws/1xbU73s ). “It’s designed to address this very issue.”

Released inmates with no supervision are 36 percent more likely to reoffend, according to the Pew Charitable Trust.

“If we’re serious about public safety, you don’t want to kick someone out the prison gate with nothing but a bus ticket and the clothes on their back,” said Adam Gelb, director of Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project. “We want to give them some kind of support and supervision.”

South Dakota Corrections Secretary Denny Kaemingk said there is “a better comfort level” when released inmates are supervised.

The percentage of released inmates who left without supervision 2012 varied widely among the states, with a high of 64 percent in Florida and a low of 6 percent in Oregon. Pew attributed the overall increase to policy changes that resulted in offenders serving higher proportions of their sentences behind bars.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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