Problem-solving courts connect reformed offenders with employers

Feb. 19, 2018

This piece is presented by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Sometimes, all it takes is a second chance.

The 2nd Judicial Circuit sees many people looking for one. Its voluntary problem-solving courts have worked with more than 200 clients in an effort to reduce criminal recidivism and substance abuse.

The courts work to increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation. Graduates of the programs have undergone weekly court hearings, random drug and alcohol testing, intense community supervision and appropriate treatment services based on their individual needs.

The problem-solving courts require participants to be part of community support groups and be employed.

“Problem-solving courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than any other community-based supervision programs,” program coordinator Kallie Steffens said. “We provide access to counseling, treatment and support in order to help clients overcome their addiction. This enables participants to receive the treatment needed for their addiction while being employed, connecting with family members and paying their taxes in order to live a sober, productive lifestyle. The teams assure the participants complete their required programming, while maintaining the public safety needed for the Sioux Falls community.”

Program participants and graduates can be an employment fit in any industry, she said.

“We have multiple clients that have experience in many different traits,” Steffens said. “The problem is the felony records and backgrounds they have obtained.”

All court sessions are held at the Minnehaha County Courthouse and open to the public. DUI court is held at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Courtroom 6A. Drug court is held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Courtroom 6B. Veterans court is held every other week at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Courtroom 5C.

How can you help provide a second chance?

  • Consider court program participants and graduates when hiring for your business.
  • Volunteer to become a mentor to participants.
  • Donate goods and services, including gift certificates for food, gas, haircuts, etc.

To learn more about working with the problem-solving court program, contact Steffens at or 605-782-3069.

To see more workforce development strategies, read this month’s edition of WIN.

Sioux Falls Development Foundation steps up workforce strategies

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Problem-solving courts connect reformed offenders with employers

Sometimes, all it takes is a second chance. This court program is helping offenders get a fresh start — and providing a workforce option for businesses.

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