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Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform | SD

South Dakota: 2013 



  • Competency — South Dakota Adds Competency Protections for Youth with Mental Illness or Developmental Disability: South Dakota now allows a youth, the state, or the court to raise the issue of a youth’s competency to proceed at any point in a juvenile case if there is reasonable cause to believe the youth is suffering from a mental illness or developmental disability that renders the youth incompetent to proceed. If the court finds that a competency determination is necessary, it must order an evaluation of the youth by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist within 30 days. All proceedings must be suspended pending the outcome of the competency determination. Examiners must evaluate the youth’s capacity to understand the allegations in the petition, ability to understand the nature of the adversarial process, understand the range of possible dispositions, effectively assist his or her attorney, and testify in court. H.B. 1073/Act No. 121, signed into law March 4, 2013; effective July 1, 2013.

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