Bartels not optimistic solution will be found for South Dakota’s jails  (Audio)

October 25, 2022
Mike Tanner
WATERTOWN, S.D.–An interim South Dakota legislative committee has been meeting this summer to explore solutions to South Dakota’s jail problem.

Less than half the state’s 66 counties have their own jail, and many of those that do, are faced with aging facilities or jails that just aren’t big enough.

Representative Hugh Bartels of Watertown is on the interim committee. He doesn’t sound optimistic that they’ll find a solution…

Bartels says the issue is money. Counties have a primary source of revenue, and it’s not enough to build an expensive new jail…

Bartels says one city in South Dakota has it figured out…..

Codington County voters have twice defeated a bond issue to build a new regional jail in Watertown.

Bartels says the existing one is in tough shape…

Bartels’ comments came during a District 5 candidate forum held recently by the Watertown Area Home Builders Association.