First drug court in South Dakota has its newest graduation class

STURGIS S.D. (KEVN) The Northern Hills Drug Court was the first in the state. the chief Justice for the South Dakota Supreme Court says that if the Northern Hills drug court program failed that would have been the end of it, but now there are 19 programs statewide and that over 80 percent of those who graduate from the program stay clean.

Northern Hills drug court class of 2019 (KEVN)

It was an emotional moment for the graduates as they spoke about the battles they faced overcoming their addictions.

"That's tough for them to get up and talk in front of a group. I would assume that none of them have done that before and the emotions that they show, show how low they got in their addiction and how great life is for them now." says, Chief Justice David Gilbertson, South Dakota Supreme Court

Chief Justice Gilbertson added that having people leave drug court happy, free, and productive citizens makes his job worthwhile