Noem names new secretary of Corrections Department

PIERRE, S.D. (KSFY) - Hughes County Sheriff Michael Leidholt is taking on a new role in the new year.

Thursday, Governor-elect Kristi Noem announced Leidholt will join her administration as Secretary of the Department of Corrections.

“It’s essential we create an environment in which both families and growing businesses can feel safe to call South Dakota home,” said Noem. “I’m thrilled to work with Sheriff Leidholt to expand correctional options in our state, keep victims at the center of our criminal justice system, and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenders. Together, we’ll work to create a stronger, safer South Dakota.”

“I’m honored to serve with Governor-elect Noem as we tackle problems within our correctional operations,” said Leidholt. “We must improve our systems to prevent crime and strengthen parole, re-entry, and rehabilitation programs while respecting every taxpayer dollar. I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue serving the people of South Dakota.”

Leidholt has served in law enforcement since 1975.

He's been sheriff of Hughes County for 24 years.

According to a news release by Noem's transition team, Leidholt pioneered efforts to bring the D.A.R.E. program to South Dakota.

Leidholt also led the state in bringing awareness to challenges facing Indian Country and mental health across the state.