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October 14, 2012 11:27 AM

Pennington Inmate Numbers Equal Largest SD County

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Officials say Pennington County in western South Dakota has nearly as many inmates in the state prison system as Minnehaha County, the state's most populous county.

A June 30 report shows that of the state's 3,633 adult inmates, 839 were sentenced out of Pennington County, compared to 864 for Minnehaha County.

Pennington County has about 70,000 fewer people than Minnehaha.

Pennington County State's Attorney Glenn Brenner attributes the number to the county's lower-income demographic and his office's reputation for being aggressive in prosecuting criminals.

Seventh Circuit Presiding Judge Jeff Davies says a case-by-case looks is needed to know why Pennington County has such high inmate numbers.

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