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Gov. Daugaard Signs Bill to Revise Mental Health Procedures in Criminal Justice System



            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212


EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:  For video and audio from the Governor on HB 1183, visit news.sd.gov/media.aspx and click on “Video” or “Audio” under “Governor Dennis Daugaard.”



Gov. Daugaard Signs Bill to Revise Mental Health Procedures in Criminal Justice System


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law House Bill 1183, an act to revise provisions regarding mental health procedures in the criminal justice system.


HB 1183 came as a result of recommendations made by a 22-member task force convened by Chief Justice Gilbertson and Gov. Daugaard. The task force included law enforcement, judges, county officials, mental healthcare providers and other system stakeholders.     


“HB 1183 provides tools to better identify and respond to persons with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system,” said Gov. Daugaard. “We look forward to working with the courts, law enforcement and other local partners to implement the provisions within the bill.”  


HB 1183 provides training for law enforcement, judges, corrections officers, and attorneys on mental illness and available resources. It also seeks to improve early identification and diversion of persons with mental illness away from the criminal justice system and into treatment, and to improve the speed of completion of competency examinations.  


Chief Justice Gilbertson stated, “Under this bill everybody benefits. Those in jail will have a quicker resolution of their case instead of waiting months for a court date. Law enforcement and the courts will function more efficiently and economically. The taxpayers will save substantial amounts of money not having to warehouse individuals waiting for competency evaluations for lengthy periods of time. It is South Dakotans addressing a South Dakota problem and coming up with a South Dakota solution.”


The task force’s work was funded through a $302,500 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Governor says he and the Chief Justice are grateful for Helmsley’s contribution and the work of task force members.


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About the Helmsley Charitable Trust 
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective organizations in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when Helmsley began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $285 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota ($71 million), Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana.