House bill reducing charges for people with drug crimes passes

Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 2:02 PM CST
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The idea of justice reinvestment is continuing into the 2019 session.

So far we've seen record sealing bills, decriminalization got a do pass from the committee, and now offenders who participate in drug courts can have their crimes reduced.

If a person successfully completes the program and was convicted of a felony, it would get knocked down to a misdemeanor.

Someone convicted of a misdemeanor would get their case dismissed and sealed.

Representative Shannon Roers Jones says they want people to follow through the program, which she called probation on steroids.

"This is really just an opportunity to encourage participants to really dig in and do the work and make the effort to being successful so that they have the ability at the end of the program to have that step down in their sentencing," said Rep. Shannon Roers Jones, R-Fargo.

Judges decide when they sentence whether someone goes to drug court. Roers Jones says that judges have a good idea who will and won't be successful.

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