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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Jail cells await mentally ill in Rapid City

Mike Anderson
Rapid City Journal
Originally published February 7, 2017

Mentally ill people in Rapid City who have committed no crimes will probably end up in jail because of a major policy change recently announced by Rapid City Regional Hospital.

The hospital is no longer taking in certain types of mentally ill patients and will instead contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office to take them into custody.

The move has prompted criticism from local law enforcement officials, who say the decision was made suddenly and without their input.

“In my view, this is the biggest step backward our community has experienced in terms of health care for mental health patients,” said Rapid City police Chief Karl Jegeris. “And though it’s legally permissible by statute to put someone in an incarceration setting, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do.”

This is the second major policy change to come out of Regional in recent days that places limits on the type of mental health care the hospital will provide.

The article is here.