S.D. County Denies Jailhouse Wedding
From Associated Press
December 11, 2006 10:01 PM EST
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The sheriff is saying "I won't" to two jail inmates who want to say "I do." The unidentified couple, in their early 20s and engaged to be married, have been in the Minnehaha County Jail since their arrests on theft and drug charges. With both anticipating plea agreements and facing several years at separate state prisons, they'd like to get married soon.
While marriages are performed a few blocks away at the state penitentiary, that's not going to happen at the county jail, said Sheriff Mike Milstead.
The difference with a jail is that it's a short-term facility and lifelong commitments can wait, he said.
State Rep. Rich Engels, a lawyer representing the would-be bride, said there is no law requiring that inmates be allowed to marry, so he plans to write one and introduce it in the 2007 legislative session.
"This is really the only opportunity for them to get married," said Engels. "I think it's important people have a strong support network and something to look forward to. And the jail is not making that possible."