(SD)-State Of The Judiciary Address Calls For Sioux Falls Mental Heal Court
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson delivered his annual State of the Judiciary address Wednesday and urged lawmakers to seriously consider creating a mental health court in the Sioux Falls region.
Gilbertson said the need for such a court is "great" in Minnehaha County, where about 1 in ever 7 prisoners screened during intake last February-June was found to have a mental illness.
A similar mental health court opened late last year in Pennington County to accomplish a goal for the year. Gilbertson said the program is led by a specially trained judge and includes a team of mental health personnel to provide treatment plans and services.
Gilbertson also said he's supporting the addition of a judge in the Second Judicial Circuit, which includes Lincoln and Minnehaha counties, because the court system there is feeling the stress of drug prosecutions.
Gilbertson was appointed to the high court in 1995 and has served as chief justice since 2001.
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