The state of South Dakota has only one type of correctional facility to hold long-term inmates; these are called prisons. There are six state prisons in South Dakota. Each one has a different level of custody and serves a specific demographic.
The South Dakota Department of Corrections is the government entity responsible for all the facilities, inmates, and South Dakota state prison inmate records. They have an informative website with an inmate locator feature so you can run a South Dakota state prison inmate search at any time of night or day.
The six, state prisons in South Dakota include:
In 1995 the state Governor at the time instituted a work-release program where low-risk inmates were allowed to work on a government project. It was so successful that the entire state prison system adopted this program, and now inmates work in community placements, non-profit agencies, and federal work-release programs. Some of the industries that inmates are becoming proficient in are: “construction trades, office skills, auto body repair, metal fabrication, building maintenance, heating and air conditioning, horticulture, welding, conservation, and upholstery.” The work release programs save tax dollars and provides an efficient workforce while also helping the inmates stay busy and learn a trade.
Along with work-release programs, most of the prisons also offer education (including degree programs), mental health and medical services, substance abuse treatment, anger management classes, and other life-skills training like the R. I. S. E. program (Raising Integrity, Sensibility, and Ethics).
The South Dakota Department of Corrections mission states: “To protect the citizens of South Dakota by providing safe and secure facilities for juvenile and adult offenders committed to our custody by the courts, to provide effective community supervision to offenders upon their release and to utilize evidence-based practices to maximize opportunities for rehabilitation.”
South Dakota has just under 4,000 inmates in state prisons. Of those, 14% are female, and the rest male. Almost half are White, around 1,000 are Native American, and a small percentage are Hispanic or Black or other races. Unfortunately, about 43.5% are in prison due to violent crimes like aggravated assault (9.73%), murder (4%), and sexual offenses (4.05%). Drug crimes are the second most popular reason, with a total of 32.97%. Non-violent crimes account for very few inmates in state prisons in South Dakota.