The South Dakota State prison system puts its best foot forward to portray itself as a national leader in corrections that ensures public safety. The South Dakota Department of Corrections was founded on July 1, 1979, to consolidate the adult and juvenile services under one centralized administration.
The SDDOC oversees the management and supervision of adult offenders, running state-run correctional facilities, supervising probation and parole, and offering community-based programs to decrease recidivism and enhance public safety.
Over the years, the SDDOC has adapted to the ever-changing demands of the state's criminal justice system and strives to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to corrections.
Six housing facilities operate under the jurisdiction of SDDOC to accommodate offenders of different custody levels;
Adult Offender Prisons for Males;
- South Dakota State Penitentiary
- Jameson Annex
- Mike Durfee State Prison
- Rapid City Minimum Center
- Yankton Minimum Center
Adult Offender Prisons for Females;
- South Dakota Women's Prison
Prison Level Classification by the South Dakota Department of Corrections(SDDOC)
Inmates are placed in facilities commensurate with their security level classification, which considers their behavior, offense history, escape risk, and other factors.
Level 1- Minimum Security Prisons
They are often assigned to work-release programs or community service projects and may participate in education, job training, and other programs to prepare them for reentry into society.
Note; Work camps or community-based facilities are both considered minimum security facilities by SDDOC.
Level 2- Medium Security Prisons
These facilities may offer education, job training, counseling, and health services to help prepare inmates for their eventual release into the community.
High Medium Security - These facilities within the medium-security classification provide higher levels of security due to the nature of the crimes committed by the inmates, their behavior while incarcerated, or other factors.
Low Medium Security - These facilities within the medium-security classification provide lower levels of security for the inmates, typically because they are considered lower-risk or are being prepared for transfer to a minimum-security prison.
Level 3- Maximum Security Prisons
They are designed to provide maximum security and control to prevent escapes and other security incidents; facilities may offer a range of programs and services, including education, job training, counseling, and health services.
Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Prisons In The State of South Dakota
Note; Each housing facility might contain more than one Unit to accommodate offenders of different custody levels.
South Dakota State Penitentiary- Level 3 Prison
The South Dakota Department of Corrections (SDDOC) system includes the maximum security prison known as the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
The South Dakota State Penitentiary is located in northern Sioux Falls. It has a long history that dates back to its founding as a territorial prison in 1881 and its transformation into the South Dakota State Penitentiary following the state's statehood in 1889.
Today, the property encompasses over thirty acres and includes many housing units and annexes, with much of the original architecture remaining there, albeit with structural adjustments over the years.
The main penitentiary facility contains three housing units and is under the supervision of Warden Dan Sullivan. In February 1993, the G. Norton Jameson Annex was opened, which houses three additional housing units within a secure perimeter and a Community Work Center for inmates participating in work release programs and community service.
Jameson Annex- Level 1,3
The G. Norton Jameson Annex was opened in February 1993 and is located adjacent to the main South Dakota State Penitentiary building.
This secure Unit contains three housing units, Unit A, Unit B, and Unit D, which are used for housing maximum security inmates for disciplinary segregation purposes.
Inmates residing in the Jameson Annex have access to educational programs such as literacy, ABE, and GED classes. The Annex is named after former Warden G. Norton Jameson, who served from 1938 to 1963.
The Jameson Annex also houses the Admissions and Orientation Unit for new inmates entering the South Dakota Department of Corrections and the Mental Health Unit.
Additionally, a Community Work Center is situated outside the perimeter fence of the Annex, providing work release and community service opportunities for minimum security inmates and parolees in the Community Transition Program.
Mike Durfee State Prison-Level 2
The Mike Durfee State Prison was established on the former campus of the University of South Dakota at Springfield after the university was closed by the state legislature in 1984.
The prison, originally designed to accommodate both male and female inmates, received its first transfer of female prisoners from the Women's Correctional Facility in Yankton in December of that year.
Male inmates were transferred to the institution the following month.
Most of the Mike Durfee State Prison inmates are classified as Low Medium security and have a disciplinary segregation unit.
The prison offers a range of educational and treatment programs, including literacy and basic education classes, GED programs, and vocational training in welding, auto body repair, and construction technology. Additionally, the prison provides treatment for chemical dependency and sex offenders.
Rapid City Minimum Center- Level 1
The Rapid City Minimum Center is supervised by the Mike Durfee State Prison and managed by Warden Brent Fluke. It is a minimum-security facility for male inmates and primarily focuses on community service and work release programs.
Daily, inmates may participate in projects such as firefighting or thinning timber in the Black Hills or work for local businesses through work release. The facility also accommodates parolees in the Community Transition Program.
Yankton Minimum Center- Level 1
The Yankton Minimum Center, under the supervision of Warden Brent Fluke and the Mike Durfee State Prison, is a low-security facility for male inmates.
Inmates at the center participate in various programs, including working in support services for the Human Services Center, engaging in community service projects, and participating in work release programs in which they hold jobs in the community.
In addition to work and community service opportunities, the center provides GED classes and other educational programs, recreational activities, religious services, and a treatment unit with drug and alcohol classes, both long-term and relapse-prevention programs.
South Dakota Women's Prison- Level 1
The Solem Public Safety Center in Pierre, South Dakota, is a unique facility that combines a women's prison, state corrections offices, and law enforcement agencies of the state, county, and city governments.
In 1995, legislation was passed to build a new women's prison in Pierre, and the idea was later pursued to join forces with local governments to optimize the use of the facility.
The completed facility comprises the South Dakota Women's Prison, the state Department of Corrections Central Office, the Pierre Police Department, the Hughes County Sheriff's office, a State Highway Patrol station, and State Division of Criminal Investigation agents.
Inmates at the Women's Prison have access to literacy, Adult Basic Education, and GED classes and can receive treatment for chemical dependency and sex offenses.
The prison also has an embroidery shop and a private-sector prison industry, Badlands Quilting, located on the premises.