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Northern Hills Drug Court

Mission Statement

The Northern Hills Drug Court (NHDC) Mission is to increase community safety, break the cycle of addiction, foster healthy families, and efficiently use public funds. This is accomplished by streamlining and coordinating comprehensive services for felony offenders whose crimes are related to addiction. The NHDC will reduce drug-related crime by holding offenders accountable through a judicially-monitored court program to promote long-term recovery.

General Description of a Drug Court

The Northern Hills Drug Court, the first in South Dakota, is based in Sturgis, South Dakota. This Drug Court focuses on the non-violent, adult felons who abuse controlled substances. The typical defendant has “one foot” in the penitentiary. Key features of a drug court include early intervention, accountability, increased court hearings, frequent drug testing, immediate sanctions, and intensive supervision. The Drug Court is unique in that Participants work with a team of individuals committed to the Participant’s recovery.

Team Members

Judge Francy Foral - Drug Court Judge
Tanya Septka - Coordinator
Ron Merwin - Meade County Sheriff
Kevin Krull - Prosecutor
Bruce Hubbard - Defense Attorney
Hillary Schwab – Compass Point Treatment Provider
Dr. Mike Fellner – Mental Health Provider
Chris Pankratz - Court Service Officer
Chanda Derby – Court Service Officer

Contact Information, Specialist

For questions regarding the Drug Court program, please contact Drug Court Coordinator Tanya Septka at (605) 347-7648.


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