Task Force

The Task Force consisted of representatives from all three branches of government, local government, criminal justice stakeholder groups and mental health stakeholder groups. The Task Force inquired why and how individuals with mental illness came into contact with the criminal justice system, examined the detention of these individuals in county jails, researched evidence-based practices and successful reforms from other states, developed tailored policy options for South Dakota, simulated the impact of proposed reforms, and explored possible reallocation of any potential savings into strategies that improve public safety and the evaluation and treatment of mental illness.

Task Force Goals

  1. To improve public safety and the treatment of people with mental illness in contact with the criminal justice system through appropriate evaluation, intervention, diversion, and supervision.
  2. To more effectively identify mental illness in people coming into contact with the criminal justice system, through improved training in local criminal justice systems, better use of screening tools and skills, and expanded response and diversion options in communities for law enforcement and the courts, all while holding offenders and government more accountable.
  3. To better allocate limited local resources in order to improve early intervention services and preserve limited jail and prison resources for violent, chronic, and career criminals.

Members of the Task Force