PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem’s 2022 budget is calling for funding to build new prisons in the state. It would include construction of a new women’s prison facility in Rapid City, as well as a new state penitentiary for men in Sioux Falls.

Rep. Erin Healy (D-Sioux Falls) and Rep. Lance Koth (R-Mitchell) agree there is a need that must be addressed.

They were both at Noem’s budget address Tuesday afternoon in Pierre.

Koth, who will serve on the appropriations committee for the second time in January, says he has toured the women’s prison in Pierre.

“They need help. Unfortunately, in the society that we live, we will have people that break the law,” Koth said.

The state penitentiary in Sioux Falls has big problems, too, from overcrowding to outdated and not ADA compliant.

“It’s obviously very important that we are focusing on making the system better, and that we are staying ADA compliant. That we are ensuring the safety of our prisoners,” Healy said.

While Healy knows infrastructure upgrades are important, she also wants to make sure there’s help for people who are released and integrating back into society.

“I just would love to see equal thought put into social programs, mental health programs, programs that really help our people who are in the system. How they can become citizens again once they’re out,” she said.

Healy says there needs to be a focus on recidivism.

“Ensuring the people who are in our system are not continuously going back after they are released,” she said.

Koth also brought up the medical needs.

“Prisoners, generally speaking need more medical care. We are and we should be more sensitive to that. Our facilities are really not set up for that,” he said.

He says the problem has been addressed some in the past but more must be done.

“We have to do something, and I think this is a good year to reach into our pockets and fund some of those needs,” Koth said.

The 2022 legislature appropriated $3.8 million in state funding to purchase land and design the new women’s prison in Rapid City. Construction costs of $60 million would be funded from the Incarceration Construction Fund, which was created by the legislature last session.

Noem called for $52 million to purchase land and for engineering and designing a new penitentiary in Sioux Falls. An additional $289.6 million would be added to the Incarceration Construction Fund for the next phase of that project.