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Woman to serve 5 years in prison for probation violation

A Rapid City woman was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday during circuit court at the Davison County Public Safety Center.

Cassandra Wright, 23, admitted to using methamphetamine while on probation in February and was scheduled to be sentenced in March. Instead, Judge Tim Bjorkman postponed it to allow Wright to enroll in an inpatient substance abuse treatment program in Rapid City.

However, she failed to successfully complete treatment at Full Circle Behavior Management System. Reports Bjorkman read out loud in court indicated Wright was issued with prescriptions not being turned in, had five or six jobs in the last three months, complained of rules being unfair and counselors were picking on her.

Wright's mother, Angela Wright, spoke to the court on behalf of her daughter Tuesday.

As she wiped away tears, Angela Wright asked that her daughter be placed in a halfway house for more treatment.

"I think she really is trying and putting forth her best efforts. I don't know if they see that part of it," she said referring to officials. "I see they bring out a lot of negative on her. She's a real good person, a good mother."

She told the court she has seen a lot of positive changes in her daughter since she started treatment.

"Your mother may be right. You've shown progress in some ways," Bjorkman said. "You should feel good about that and build off that."

However, Bjorkman said he relies on treatment providers' testimony, which showed Cassandra Wright was not putting forward her best efforts to recover.

"Since you were unsuccessful, you leave me little choice but to sentence you to a term in the South Dakota state penitentiary," Bjorkman said. "I want you to be there long enough to take advantage of their meth program."

She received 197 days credit for time served, but no credit for her time at Full Circle as she did not complete the program.