Members of State’s New Mental Illness Task Force Appointed
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — More than 20 people will make up a task force proposed by the state's top judge to study how mental illness is affecting the court system.
The members of the Task Force on Community Justice and Mental Illness Early Intervention were announced Tuesday. The group includes sheriffs, prosecutors, mental health professionals and others.
Chief Justice David Gilbertson will co-chair the group, which he proposed after The Argus Leader newspaper in Sioux Falls reported that a backlog of mental competency evaluations of criminal suspects is taxing county budgets and raising concerns about the rights of defendants. There were 147 requests in state court for mental competency exams in fiscal 2015.
The group will analyze why and how individuals with mental illness come into contact with the criminal justice system. It will also examine the detention of those individuals in county jails.
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