- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he supports a mental illness task force proposed by the state’s top judge.

Daugaard says he’s concerned about how long people charged with crimes are spending in jail awaiting mental health evaluations.

The Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1QE3LHg ) recently reported 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, and the state’s mental hospital conducts only 36 each year.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson announced the formation of the task force Friday, to look into how mental illness is affecting the court system. Members will include law officers, prosecutors, county officials, mental health professionals, social services officials and court officials.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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