By Caroline Grueskin
The state's top jurist said a package of corrections bills signed by the governor this week was more than fiscally savvy.
"It is not only money, it is the right thing to do," said Gerald VandeWalle, chief justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court.
VandeWalle was speaking at a press conference Friday afternoon, surrounded by members of all three branches of government, including the governor, attorney general and members of both political parties and state houses.
Gov. Doug Burgum was announcing his approval of four bills — House Bills 1041, 1269 and 1341 and Senate Bill 2015 — passed this session to reform the criminal justice system by reducing the number of people sent to prison and improving services for people under supervision.
The bills reduce penalties for drug possession, cut down minimum mandatory sentences, put more people on probation, give prisons and jails authority to manage their numbers and provide for $7.5 million in behavioral health treatment for people on probation and parole.
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Source: The Bismarck Tribune