Monday, April 14, 2008

'Dangerously close to having no law' | | Argus Leader

'Dangerously close to having no law' | | Argus Leader: "McLAUGHLIN - This town has the look of a busted up bum, broken and ragged.

A board covering a shattered window in the Boys and Girls Club on Main Street, the charred shell of a nearby house, its roof and second story mostly burned away suggest a waning sense of pride in the place.

McLaughlin, on the Standing Rock reservation in north-central South Dakota, is becoming less like home and more like the midway at a criminals' carnival.

South Dakota's reservations have seen an explosion of juvenile and drug-related crime in recent years, the result of a system where offenders see no officers to arrest them, no means to get them to court and no place to put them if convicted.

Efforts to deal with the problem are stymied by a lack of money, complicated jurisdiction laws and sovereignty issues.

Everybody, it seems, has a story about crime."

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