A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the South Dakota Human Services Center in Yankton along with its administrator on behalf of jailed inmates in the state who are awaiting mental health services.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court last week, is the latest action against the Human Services Center. Three people are named as class plaintiffs: Juan Alvarez, Aubrey Archambeau and Joseph Baker.
HSC’s Administrator Jeremy Johnson is named as a defendant.
According to the complaint, all three plaintiffs have been ordered to go to the HSC to be restored to competency. However, they have not been sent to HSC to receive services that would restore them to competency and instead have been in jail.
The complaint seeks class-action status for others in a similar position. The South Dakota Department of Social Services has not replied to the complaint.
HSC, the state’s public mental health hospital, has been suffering from chronic staffing shortages, which limits the number of patients it can take.