Juvenile drug arrests are rising in South Dakota at a time that juvenile arrests for all non-drug crimes are falling, and state officials say the reasons for the jump in drug arrests are difficult to pin down.
South Dakota ranks second in the nation for the rate of deaths due to liver ailments, which doctors now say are caused not only by heavy alcohol use but also due to poor lifestyle and eating habits as well as the viral illness Hepatitis C.
Two mothers whose children suffered physical abuse at Aurora Plains Academy question Aurora County State's Attorney John R. Steele's longtime legal relationship with the facility. Steele is the registered South Dakota agent for the intensive youth treatment facility.
In response to a South Dakota News Watch investigation into abuse of youths at the Aurora Plains Academy in Plankinton, S.D., Gov. Kristi Noem has ordered state agencies to reform the processes of licensing and inspection of all private youth treatment facilities across the state.
A South Dakota News Watch investigation based on first-hand accounts, public records and independent reviews of injuries has uncovered a decade-long pattern of physical, mental and sexual abuse of residents at the privately run Aurora Plains Academy in Plankinton, S.D.