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STAR Academy Juvenile Dies

December 22, 2013
Contact: Michael Winder, SD DOC Communications & Information Manager

STAR Academy Juvenile Dies

(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.)- A 17-year old male resident of the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy in Custer has died from an apparent medical condition.

Brady Folkens developed symptoms and was seen by on-site medical staff before being taken to the Custer Regional Hospital on Dec 21. After being placed in the care of the Custer Regional Hospital, the decision was made to airlift Brady to Sioux Falls so that he could be seen by a specialist. Brady passed away Saturday night at a Sioux Falls hospital.

The family was notified and was present at the hospital at the time Brady died.

Per Department of Corrections (DOC) policy, the Juvenile Corrections Monitor (JCM) was also notified of the death. The JCM serves as an independent advocate for the youth placed at STAR Academy.

An autopsy will be conducted. The DOC has requested that the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation investigate the death, which is standard procedure for all deaths that occur while someone is in DOC custody.

There is no indication at this time that any of STAR Academy’s youth or staff members need any special medical treatment as a result of this illness. However, test results are still pending regarding the cause of his illness and if further follow-up is indicated appropriate measures will be taken.

Brady’s name is being released with the approval of his family.

STAR Academy is home to the state-run juvenile corrections programs. The Patrick Henry Brady Academy and Youth Challenge Center programs for males are located on the main campus south of Custer, while programs for female offenders are located in Custer State Park. The youth that are served by STAR Academy have all been placed in the custody of the DOC by the court system.