Noem signs series of criminal justice bills

Noem signs series of criminal justice bills

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South Dakota Capitol Building in Pierre.

SIOUX FALLS | Gov. Kristi Noem on Wednesday signed 17 bills from the South Dakota Legislature that deal with a variety of criminal justice issues.

The bills include proposals to establish a missing person clearinghouse, provide incentives for pregnant women facing drug charges to seek addiction treatment, and allow people who are mentally unfit to stand trial to receive treatment in jails or their homes. The laws will take effect July 1.

The attorney general proposed a missing person clearinghouse after he found the state lacked an updated list of missing people.

Rep. Spencer Gosch, a Glenham Republican, introduced the proposal to push pregnant women facing drug ingestion or possession charges to seek help. The law would allow them to avoid the felony charges if they complete an addiction program and get prenatal treatment.

One of the bills Noem signed designates $418,000 for the state's justice system to consider arming law enforcement officers with tablet computers to connect people in mental crises with counselors. That budget allotment will be immediately available.

The Legislature is scheduled to meet for one day at the end of the month to consider any vetoes from Noem. The Republican governor has so far vetoed two bills.

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