South Dakota is situated in the north-central United States. It is also known as the "land of infinite variety" and is renowned for its varied natural landscapes. It is known for its tourism and agriculture.
South Dakota has the highest percentage of prisoners, with an incarceration rate of 824 per 100,000 people.
Overview of the Prisons in the State of South Dakota
Overcrowding in South Dakota prisons is increasing at a higher rate. South Dakota's prison population changed by 11% between 2008 and 2018. The increasing inmate population causes many issues, including riots and violence. The overcrowding of prisons has also impacted living conditions within the facilities.
Along with overcrowding, the facility's understaffing has led to inhumane conditions in South Dakota's prisons.
What makes the prisons in the State of South Dakota the worst?
- The conditions inside South Dakota's prisons have worsened due to overcrowding, and as a result, inmates do not have adequate access to medical care.
- The mental and physical health of prisoners is impacted by understaffing in prisons. Lack of medical personnel leads to the poor health of inmates.
- Gang activities and violent behavior have caused mental retardation and mental assault in prisoners.
10 Worst Prisons in the State of South Dakota
Following are some of the worst prisons in the State of South Dakota:
South Dakota State Penitentiary (Sioux Falls)
The South Dakota state penitentiary is in Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota. The building takes up roughly 30 acres. The facility opened as a territorial prison in 1881 and became the state penitentiary when South Dakota gained statehood in 1889. It can house approximately 690 male offenders. The facility also comprises a death row and an execution chamber.
The South Dakota State Penitentiary is the most hazardous of all South Dakota prisons. Prison issues, such as riots and violence, have been brought on by the issue of an increasing inmate population. In addition, the facility has also been on the scene of other problems, including sexual assaults, unhygienic conditions, and much more, as demonstrated by an anonymous letter outlining the issues in the facility.
G. Norton Jameson Annex (Sioux Falls)
The G. Norton Jameson Annex is a secure facility that hosts inmates. It is located adjacent to the main building of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. The facility was opened in February 1993. The James Annex consists of three units; unit A, unit B, and unit C. These units are used to house inmates with the highest level of security.
The Jameson Annex facility is overcrowded, resulting in insufficient clinical space and resources. In addition, a lack of workspace has made it difficult for healthcare workers to provide proper medical care. In addition, the facility houses the most dangerous inmates, which has increased gang-related activity and violence.
Mike Durfee State Prison (Springfield)
The Mike Durfee state prison is a medium/maximum facility in Springfield, South Dakota. It was once the University of South Dakota's Springfield campus before becoming Springfield State Prison in 1984. In honor of Mike Durfee, the deputy director of the South Dakota Department of Corrections, the prison was renamed Mike Durfee State Prison in 1999.
Inmates at the facility are denied their basic human rights. Aside from living in unsanitary conditions, they also lack adequate medical care. Furthermore, the facility lacks air conditioning, forcing the inmates to endure extreme heat.
South Dakota Women's Prison
South Dakota Women’s Prison is a multi-custody facility housing minimum, medium, and maximum security females. The facility is located in Pierre, South Dakota, and can house up to 352 inmates. The facility is a part of the Solem Public Safety Center. A community work center for minimum-security prisoners is also present.
The facility’s failure to provide proper staffing has created unsafe conditions within the prison. We discovered that a mental health professional and a correctional officer at the Women's Prison were assaulted by inmates. The facility has unsafe working conditions due to frequent reports of staff assaults.
Rapid City Community Work Center (Rapid City)
The Rapid City Community Work Centre is a minimum security facility that houses male offenders. It is operated under the supervision of Mike Durfee State and is situated in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Overcrowding in the facility has brought issues like insufficient medical resources and unsanitary conditions. Gang activities within the facility have also increased, resulting in violent living conditions.
Yankton Community Work Center
The Yankton community work center is a minimum security state prison. It is located in Yankton, South Dakota. The facility has been operational since 1970 and can house 150 to 240 inmates. Mike Durfee, state prison, is in charge of handling the facility.
South Dakota's prisons are overcrowded, and Yankton Community is one of them. The facility is dealing with a lot of problems as a result of the growing prison population. Also, gang activity has occurred at the facility, blighting the living conditions.
Hughes County Jail
Hughes County jail comes last on our list of worst prisons in South Dakota. It is a minimum-security adult facility. The facility is located in Hughes County, Pierre, South Dakota. The facility, located in metropolitan Pierre, is set up over eight separate sections of land and has been in operation since 1936. The facility is managed and run by the South Dakota Department of Corrections.
Many riots and violent incidents occur in the facility due to overcrowding. Furthermore, overcrowding has exacerbated the situation with the facility's understaffing. The facility has also been involved in gang-related activities.
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