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RAND Corporation Will Study the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program

 

PIERRE, S.D.-  Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the RAND Corporation, a non- partisan and independent organization, has received federal funding to study the effectiveness of the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program. The study, which will be funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, will evaluate the programs effectiveness on improving public safety.
 
In 2005, the 24/7 Program was developed at the direction of the then-Attorney General Larry Long as a comprehensive alcohol monitoring program. The Program addresses underlying alcohol and drug addiction by requiring offenders to abstain from alcohol and drug use under extensive monitoring. Program participants are monitored by twice-a-day portable breathalyzer test (PBT), secure continuous remote alcohol monitor(SCRAM) devices placed on ankles, and/or drug monitoring patches. The South Dakota Legislature is presently considering SB 33 to authorize the Attorney General to conduct a pilot program to determine whether ignition interlock devices used in other states should be added to the list of approved 24/7 program monitoring devices. Attorney General Jackley is also working with legislators to convert the 24/7 Program to an offender pay program which is not dependent upon general taxpayer dollars.  
 
In March 2010, Attorney General Jackley showcased the 24/7 Program at the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy Conference, which was held at the nonprofit RAND Corporation’s headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Attorney General Jackley discussed and promoted the program with Stephen Talpins of the National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime.  
 
“The 24/7 Sobriety Program is a cost-effective alternative for those offenders that are serious about choosing sobriety, their families and gainful employment over incarceration,” said Jackley. “This comprehensive study of our 24/7 Sobriety Program presents South Dakota with the opportunity to improve our criminal justice system on a national scale. We are confident that this study will aid in convincing Congress and other stakeholders that the 24/7 Sobriety Program significantly reduces repeat alcohol violations and may in turn open the door for future highway safety and other funding prospects.”
 
The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office has completed an initial study of the 24/7 Program with the assistance of Roland Loudenberg, Mountain Plains Evaluation. The preliminary results demonstrate that the Program effectively reduces the likelihood that an individual convicted of DUI will reoffend. Specifically, the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office found that offenders placed at least 30 consecutive days on 24/7 are over 50% less likely to commit another DUI offense. The federally-funded RAND analysis will focus on DUI recidivism as well as a number of other outcomes, such as traffic accidents, hospitalizations, and social costs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, February 10, 2011
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215