Recap of the State of the Judiciary Address

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — South Dakota’s judicial system has successfully used specialty courts to divert at-risk individuals from prison into productive lives.
That’s according to South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Steven R. Jensen, who gave the annual State of the Judiciary Address to a joint session of the legislature Wednesday.
Jensen says the drug, DUI, veterans, and mental health courts have helped offenders have successful lives.
Jensen also sounded the alarm about increasing threats against judges and court personnel inside and outside of court. He said two South Dakota judges faced credible threats recently, with incidents rising across the nation.
The Chief Justice also said increasing caseloads in the Second Judicial Circuit, which includes Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, calls for another judge and another assistant clerk of courts. The proposal is included in Gov. Kristi Noem’s budget for the next fiscal year.