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November 14, 2017 06:51 AM

Meth Epidemic Leading To Prison Overcrowding

Sioux Falls

Many of South Dakota's jails and prisons are dealing with overcrowding, which officials credit to an ongoing meth epidemic.

In Minnehaha County alone, the court system has seen a 40 percent increase in meth arrests since last year.

Laurie Feiler, deputy secretary with the state's Department of Corrections, says the number of inmates creates housing pressure in South Dakota's low-medium and medium-security jails and prisons. In particular, a growing number of female offenders sentenced on meth charges is straining the system.

"It's certainly a big impact. Over 60 percent of our female population are doing time for drug offenses. Over 300 of our offenders are doing time for possession or ingestion," Feiler said.

In tonight's Eye On KELOLAND at 10 p.m., Casey Wonnenberg explores the topics of prison overcrowding, meth use and suspended sentencing.

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