PREVIEW: Growing treatment gap


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — We’ve told you about the overcrowding at the women’s prison. There are now more than 500 women behind bars in Pierre. 

Most of them are in for drug crimes. Over the last year, between 62 to 64 percent of the prisoners are there because of drugs. 

However, some 80 percent of the women behind bars struggle with addiction issues. 

KELOLAND Investigates has learned that two mental health counselors are leaving the women’s prison this month and just one licensed addiction counselor is on staff. 

“About three years ago, it just seems like it started depleting; counselors were leaving,” June Russell, a former staff support worker at the women’s prison, said. 

Coming up Friday, we sit down with two women who worked behind bars for years, who helped assist inmates with treatment for addiction. 

What made them leave and why they say that things have only deteriorated since they left their jobs.

You won’t want to miss our latest investigation, this time into the lack of treatment for women who are locked up because of their addictions. 

The growing treatment gap at the women’s prison, at 10.

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