prisons

Addiction and Sentencing: One Woman's Journey

Mar 14, 2017
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Johnny Grim https://www.flickr.com/photos/grimages

No one starts using drugs with the goal of becoming hopelessly addicted. But that is what often happens. In this Journeys Through Justice story, Meg Luther Lindholm speaks with one woman about her journey through addiction.

Jenenne Guffey is a woman with a mission. She works at Prairie St. John’s Hospital in Fargo helping substance abusers recover and get their lives back. She struggled for years with her own drug addiction before she got her life back.  Although when she started using drugs she had no idea how long it would take to stop.

A conversation about Addiction and Incarceration with North Dakota Senator Judy Lee and Representative Kathy Hogan.

Figuring out how to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons is high on the agenda for many state legislators. Meg Luther Lindholm recently discussed the twin problems of drug addiction and incarceration with two legislators (a Republican and a Democrat) in this Journeys Through Justice report.

Journeys Through Justice: Addiction, Treatment and Prisons

Feb 21, 2017

Leann Bertsch has been North Dakota’s director of Corrections since 2005. In this Journeys Through Justice report, she talks about the changes she feels are needed in the state’s criminal justice system.

We are the third fastest growing state in terms of incarceration, which is not a good statistic to have.

This growth is driven largely by people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

Journeys Through Justice: Lessons from Norway

Feb 21, 2017
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Leann Bertsch has a job that most people would not envy. As the state’s director of corrections and rehabilitation, she oversees the state’s prisons. And since taking the job in 2005 she’s had to oversee a rapid rise in the state’s prison population.

We are the third fastest growing state in terms of incarceration, which is not a good statistic to have.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Two Legislative interim committees have approved bill drafts designed to help curb the growth in the state’s prison population.

The bills would reduce penalties for drug addicts, allowing them to be sent to treatment facilities – and to be put out on probation faster. Supporters say the goal is to cut the amount of prisoners being sent to other facilities – and using that saved money for local addiction programs.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It’s being called a “comprehensive review of North Dakota’s criminal justice system.”

It will involve all three branches of government. And the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center will help with it.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the goals are to keep down the cost of incarceration and to reduce recidivism.

"Recidivism is that fun word tha means 'they keep coming back,'" said Dalrymple.