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Secretary Mike Leidholt Announces Retirement

August 13, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, South Dakota Secretary of Corrections Mike Leidholt announced his retirement. Governor Kristi Noem issued the following statement:


“I am grateful to Mike for his service to South Dakota and our Department of Corrections. While it is now clear the issues at the Penitentiary were the responsibility of others, I believe new leadership is needed to address the ongoing challenges in our prison system.  I wish Mike well in his retirement after more than four decades of service in South Dakota law enforcement.”


With 43 years as a law enforcement specialist, including 24 years as Hughes County Sheriff, Secretary Leidholt provided valuable experience in leading the Department of Corrections. He also is a past president of the South Dakota Sheriffs’ Association, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Dakota Territory Sheriffs’ Association.


Secretary Leidholt’s announcement comes off the heels of the department’s announcement that it will begin a third-party review of practices across the system. The governor has targeted improving standards, increasing recruitment efforts, and implementing new protocols to address the safety of inmates and staff. Tim Reisch will continue his role as interim secretary until a permanent replacement is announced.