Considered on Briefs January 12, 2015
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE DOUGLAS E. HOFFMAN, Judge.
JASON R. ADAMS of Nicholson, Tschetter, Adams & Nicholson Law Office, PC, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for appellant.
MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, ASHLEY E.H. MCDONALD, Special Assistant Attorney General, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for appellee.
GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and ZINTER and SEVERSON, Justices, and KONENKAMP, Retired Justice, concur. KERN, Justice, not having been a member of the Court at the time this action was assigned to the Court, did not participate.
[¶1] While serving the unsuspended portion of his sentence in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, Travis Mann signed a suspended sentence supervision agreement. Subsequently, the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Board) revoked Mann's suspended sentence, concluding that Mann had violated the conditions of the agreement. Mann challenges the Board's action. We affirm.
[¶2] On February 13, 2007, Mann pleaded guilty to two charges of second-degree robbery. The circuit court sentenced Mann to seven years in the penitentiary with two years suspended for the first conviction, and eight years in the penitentiary with two years suspended for the second conviction, to be served consecutively. For each conviction, the sentencing court imposed conditions on the suspended portion of the sentence, requiring Mann to pay restitution to Brookings
County for fees and costs and to the victims of the robbery.
[¶3] On September 28, 2011, Mann signed a suspended sentence supervision agreement. The Department of Corrections (Department) informed Mann that a failure to sign the agreement could result in imposition of the suspended portion of his sentence. One of the conditions included in the agreement required Mann to " conform to the rules and program requirements of the Department of Corrections, maintain a good disciplinary record and satisfactorily participate in programs as assigned."  Mann was notified and advised that a violation of this agreement could result in the revocation of his suspended sentence.
[¶4] Prior to August 2011, no inmate serving a sentence with a portion of his sentence suspended was required to sign a suspended sentence supervision agreement like the one signed by Mann. Instead, an inmate who committed a major rule violation did not have his suspended sentence imposed unless he had signed a community supervision agreement. The Board typically presented an inmate with the community supervision agreement 60 days before his release. In August 2011, the Board implemented a new policy that required all inmates with a suspended sentence to sign an agreement similar to the agreement signed by Mann instead of a community supervision agreement. Unlike the community supervision agreement, the suspended sentence supervision agreement is typically presented to an inmate earlier than 60 days before his release. In this case, the agreement was presented to Mann approximately 18 months before his release. According to the Board, the purpose of the suspended sentence supervision agreement is to prevent violent, abusive behavior by an inmate, which in turn protects staff and inmates, as well as to promote positive behavior by an inmate in order to reduce his risk to the community at large once he is released.
[¶5] The process of review for a violation of the suspended sentence supervision agreement is as follows. Each month, a computer report is generated that shows which inmates (1) are serving a sentence that will transition to suspended sentence in four months or less and are refusing sex offender treatment; (2) are serving a sentence that will transition to suspended sentence in three months or less and have received a category 4 or 5 rule violation; and (3) are ...