South Dakota is located in the North Central United States. The state has a population of only 192,200, making it the 5th least densely populated state in the county.
Despite the low population, it has an alarming incarceration rate of 824 per 100,000. South Dakota uses prisons and jails to keep these offenders in custody.
This article brings you everything you need to know about private prisons in the state of South Dakota.
South Dakota's Unique Approach
South Dakota's prison system stands out as it relies solely on state-operated prisons and does not use prison labor. Inmates in South Dakota have the right to refuse work, which respects their dignity and choices.
Unlike many states where incarcerated individuals are compelled to work, South Dakota prioritizes human rights by not subjecting them to exploitative labor practices. It allows the state to work on improving the overall mindset of the prisoners instead of getting them to work.
By avoiding prison labor, South Dakota aims to foster a system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punitive measures. This approach acknowledges the importance of providing opportunities for inmates to work and earn money to support themselves and their families while incarcerated.
South Dakota's unique stance raises significant questions about the fairness and ethics of the broader prison system. It underscores the state's commitment to treating inmates with dignity and respect, promoting a more humane approach to incarceration.
By choosing not to rely on prison labor, South Dakota sets itself apart and offers a different perspective on managing its correctional facilities.
List of Private Prisons in the State of South Dakota
There is no list of private prisons in the state of South Dakota, as the state does not use private prisons to manage the prisoner population. The South Dakota Department of Corrections uses state prisons to keep the inmates safe and offer them rehabilitation opportunities.
South Dakota Prison Trends
South Dakota has an incarceration rate of 824 per 100,000, and 6,500 people from South Dakota are locked up behind bars.
3,400 offenders are incarcerated in state prisons, 1,500 are in local jails, and 1,300 serve time in federal prisons. 220 are spending time in Indian Country, followed by 170 in youth facilities and 10 in involuntary commitment. Statistics also show 5,600 out of the total incarcerated population are under probation, whereas 3,500 are under parole.
Prison Vs. Jail
The prison incarceration rate in South Dakota is quite higher than jail incarceration. However, both have shown a constant upward trend over the years. Prison imprisonment rates dropped in 1988 and kept increasing linearly till 2006. The numbers peaked in 2005, coming down slightly in 2007, and have been almost constant since then.
At the same time, the jail population in South Dakota has been quite low, with continuous growth until 1999; the number has been unstable since then.
Pre-Trial Vs. Convicted
South Dakota pretrial incarceration trends have continuously increased since 1978, with a sudden rise between 1993 and 1999; the numbers peaked in 2005. At the same time, post-conviction numbers have risen gradually over the past years, with a sudden decrease in 2005.
Similar to other states, South Dakota also shows the highest number of black incarcerations compared to other races and ethnicities. 2010 data shows 4,664 Black imprisonments per 100,000 in South Dakota, followed by 2,570 American Indian incarcerations.
The number of Hispanic and White offenders is 1,727 and 508, per 100,000, respectively.
Despite the high incarceration rates in South Dakota, women do not make up a large fraction of the prison population. The number of female incarcerations per 100,000 is 97, while the total female prisoner population in the state is 414.
Contrarily, men have a soaring incarceration rate of 728 per 100,000 population, amounting to 3,144 in total prison population according to 2018 stats.
South Dakota Department of Corrections
SDDOC operates all the state prisons in South Dakota. In South Dakota, six state prisons house 3,801 prisoners alongside a community corrections program overseeing 5,424 individuals on probation and 3,440 on parole.
Jameson Prison Annex (JPA)
JPA is the only maximum-security facility for male inmates in the SDDOC system. The facility is in good physical condition and operates securely and efficiently. It also houses inmates with behavioral and mental health conditions.
South Dakota State Penitentiary
(SDSP) is the oldest facility in the system, dating back to 1881. It houses around 700 male inmates in the high-medium classification. Due to its age and configuration, it is inefficient to operate and expensive to maintain.
Sioux Falls Community Work Center
(SFCWC), also known as Unit 'C' of JPA, accommodates around 300 minimum-security inmates participating in various programs. Population density and limited recreational and program space are its major shortcomings.
Mike Durfee State Prison
(MDSP) Springfield houses over 1,000 low-medium inmates and focuses on vocational and industrial programs, including the Governor's House construction program.
The facility has numerous building conditions and is spread out extensively, impacting staffing efficiency due to long distances between different units. Its rural location also makes staff recruitment and retention challenging.
The Yankton Community Work Center
The Yankton Community Work Center is situated on the outskirts of the Human Services Center in a three-story leased building. It currently houses nearly 300 minimum-security inmates, leading to a higher population density than desired. The area where inmates are dealt with is also not well-designed and lacks efficiency.
The South Dakota Women's Prison
It was established in 1996 and is centrally located in the state, just outside Pierre. It is the sole facility in South Dakota that accommodates female inmates of all security levels. Challenges at SDWP include overcrowding and a structurally deficient Community Work Center.
Additionally, providing suitable vocational programs is difficult due to less program participation and work requirements caused by shorter average stays.
The Rapid City Community Work Center
It was opened in 2011 and is situated in an industrial neighborhood. The prison is a two-story building with dormitory-style housing on the upper level and support functions on the ground floor.
Among all the South Dakota prisons, RCCWC doesn't have any significant issues.
Additional South Dakota Prison Information
- South Dakota Jails charge up to $3.15 for a 15-minute phone call.
- Sending e-messages to and from the prison cost 25¢.
- Families and friends of incarcerated individuals have to pay up to a 16% fee to transfer money to their loved ones in prison
- The state prisons suspended the $2 copays in 2019 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In the South Dakota prison system prisoners have to pay for hygiene items if they have more than $1.00 in their account.
- South Dakota prisons pay the inmates as little as 25¢ an hour for their work.
South Dakota's prison system sets itself apart by relying solely on state-operated prisons, avoiding private facilities. This approach respects inmates' dignity by allowing them to refuse work and focuses on rehabilitation.
Thus, this article does not have a full list of private prisons in the state of South Dakota. While private prisons may offer cost savings, South Dakota's commitment to human rights and a more humane approach to incarceration stands out.
By prioritizing rehabilitation over profits, the state strives to provide opportunities and ensure safety within its well-managed state prison system.