State Senator and GOP Congressional Candidate Neal Tapio sounded the alarm this week saying South Dakota’s recently reformed criminal and juvenile justice system are philosophically identical to the system in Florida that ignored the shooter’s multiple threats to fellow students in the months before last week’s rampage that killed 17 people.
Tapio says South Dakota is following the exact same model of justice reform that has sought to minimize incarceration, regardless of identified risk, leaving the state’s schools and communities vulnerable to similar tragedy.
“The shooter had identified himself on facebook as a ‘professional school shooter.’ He had over 30 contacts with the Sheriff Department. Multiple people called the authorities, yet he was still out walking around and able to carry out his deadly plan,” Tapio said.
“Blaming guns is a misdirection effort designed to hide the failure of justice reforms pushed by the Obama Administration and implemented across the country, which set goals to reduce prison populations, not to reduce crime,” Tapio said. “The Broward County Sheriff was a huge proponent of these toothless reforms.”
Senator Tapio expressed concerns South Dakota schools are wide open to the same kind of tragedy witnessed in Florida, because justice reforms virtually dictate to our law enforcement to do everything they can to keep from dealing appropriately with dangerous kids.
Tapio says South Dakota’s implementation of justice reform provisions outlined in Senate Bills 70 and 73 coincided precisely with Broward County, Florida’s adoption of the PROMISE program, which followed the federal reforms driven by the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Program under the Obama Administration.
“These programs used federal incentive grants to reward law enforcement for the arrests they didn’t make. There was a financial incentive to not arrest the Florida shooter, and thousands of others just like him, because increased incarceration rates would indicate a failure of the program.” Tapio said. “Touting lower incarceration numbers was how the Sheriff measured success and how he got re-elected.
“I have tried to shine a spotlight on the failures of these justice reforms in South Dakota, only to have our Governor say these programs are performing, ‘right on track.’ These programs are failing parents, their kids and making our schools less safe. School Superintendents, States’ Attorneys and Sheriffs need to speak out about their concerns with these programs.” Tapio said. “These programs embrace a dangerous philosophy which becomes a ticking time bomb and an unnecessary tragedy waiting to happen.
“Blaming these tragedies on guns is preposterous. When the political class tries to blame the bogeyman, in this case, the NRA, you have to wonder how deep this failure and coverup goes.”
“It’s time to expose this lie.”