- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A cultural and spiritual program meant to lower recidivism rates has kicked off at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The program in the community that straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border is partnering ex-convicts who have successfully reintegrated back into the community with recently released offenders.

The ex-cons are expected to mentor the individuals returning to the reservation to help them avoid the pitfalls that can land them back in prison. Four people were partnered with two mentors on Friday in Fort Yates, North Dakota.

Troy Morley is assistant U.S attorney and tribal liaison for the district of South Dakota. He says ex-cons were selected to be the mentors in the program because their previous experiences will give them “credibility” to help them connect with recently released offenders.

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