Criminal Justice Reform in North Dakota


The incarceration rate in North Dakota has been on the rise since the early 1990’s. According to Leann Bertsch, director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, this spike could be due to the enforcement of tougher DUI laws in 2014, mandatory minimum legislation, and overly harsh sentences for minor offenses. This high incarceration rate is what causes the major problem of overcrowding in the North Dakota prison system.


North Dakotan Republicans have supported the passage of several pieces of legislation that include:

By appropriating money to programs that make treatment more accessible to those in the criminal justice system, North Dakota is taking the right steps to improve public health outcomes for those within and without the system. North Dakota still has a lot of work to do to bring justice to its criminal justice system. Needed reforms include banning asset forfeiture and cash bail, among others.

Identification of legislation should not be considered an endorsement of support of, or opposition to, such bills.