Planning continues for new men’s, women’s prisons

South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux FallsThe plans for two new state prisons continue to move forward in South Dakota. 

Lawmakers passed and Gov. Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1016 ($60 million for a new Rapid City-based women’s prison) and HB-1017 ($52 million for land and design as well as transferring $290 million for a new Sioux Falls-based men’s prison). Together the two bills involve more than $400 million for new South Dakota Department of Corrections prisons in Rapid City and the Sioux Falls area. 

Michael Winder, a DOC spokesman, told KELOLAND News a construction timeline is being developed for the new women’s prison in Rapid City with a possible groundbreaking in September.

Land for the new women’s prison was bought in 2022 after lawmakers approved $3.8 million through Senate Bill 144 in 2022

Secretary of Corrections Kellie Wasko told state lawmakers in February two 100-plus page reports done by DLR Group and CGL on South Dakota’s aging prison system highlighted issues with overcrowding. 

In April 2023, there were 317 inmates at the Women’s Prison in Pierre and 173 inmates at the Pierre Minimum Center, according to DOC data. The Women’s Prison has a designed capacity of 202 and an operational capacity of 330, while the Pierre Minimum Center has a design capacity of 120. 

Land request for new men’s prison

For the new men’s prison, Winder said Architecture Incorporated, HDR and CGL were selected to provide design services, while Henry Carlson and JE Dunn were selected to provide construction manager services. 

In May, the DOC posted a Request for Information for land within 20 miles of Sioux Falls for a new men’s prison. The project details said the new prison would have 400+ employees, cost $500-$600 million, be built on 100-200 acres and would have heavy industrial or agricultural use zoning would be preferred to reduce potential impacts. View the story on KELO.