SD Unified Judicial System

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Judges, attorneys, and law enforcement endorse a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse that aims to ease mental health problems for people entering the justice system. House Bill 1183 is a measure that changes competency assessments, creates training for people who work in criminal justice, and encourages works that helps people avoid unnecessary arrests or extended time in jail.

Minnehaha County officials are implementing a new assessment that flags defendants who present a risk to the community. The effort is designed to help judges determine whether someone accused of crime should be released before trial. The process combines multiple factors but eliminates identifiers such as race, income, education, and family status.

South Dakota Chief Justice David Gilbertson joins Dakota Midday with an update on the state’s Mental Health Task Force. The group was formed to research and address a backlog in court-ordered mental competency evaluations. Chief Justice Gilbertson talks about the process and progress of the group.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new study shows judicial reforms saved South Dakota $34 million in the first two years. Sweeping changes in mid-2013 included presumptive probation. That means judges sentencing people for low-level felonies keep offenders in communities instead of sending them to prison. Researchers from the Justice Policy Center say initial results are promising, but the work isn’t finished.

A new report indicates changes that keep more offenders out of prison are helping state coffers without risking public safety.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Elder Abuse is garnering attention from leaders in South Dakota. A task force involving members of the judicial branch, the governor’s office, and the state legislature are meeting to better understand the problem. They want to find ways to recognize the crimes and prosecute them. Task force members also want to prevent elder abuse.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota leaders are analyzing elder abuse. The Chief Justice of South Dakota’s Supreme Court David Gilbertson says the often hidden crimes of elder abuse are becoming bigger problems as more people age. All three branches of government are part of a task force trying to understand who is taking advantage of the state’s aging people, how they’re doing it, and what can be done to prevent and punish elder abuse.

Elder abuse takes many forms, but a discussion about money pierces Steve Mielke.