Makers: Judges

Jan 17, 2013

Judge Kathleen Caldwell and Judge Patricia Riepel join Dakota Midday for the Makers series this week as they talk about their impact in the court systems. Governor George S. Mickelson appointed Caldwell to the First Circuit Bench on January 29, 1993. Following redistricting of the circuits, she became a judge of the Second Circuit Bench on July 1, 2000. Judge Caldwell retired on January 8, 2013. The Madison native attended law school after 18 months in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and practiced law for 12 years in Sioux Falls before becoming a circuit judge. Caldwell's tenure as presiding judge saw the circuit reform its method of dealing with juvenile offenders through a program called the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. South Dakota's lockup rate once was the highest, but the push has helped Minnehaha and Pennington counties funnel most delinquents into less-restrictive alternatives. Judge Riepel became the thirty first circuit judge after her election in the 2006 General Election. She assumed office on January 1, 2007.