Site Picked For New SD Men’s Prison


      The South Dakota Dept of Corrections has agreed to buy a pair of 160-acre parcels of state school land south of Sioux Falls as the site for a new men’s prison. 

       State law allows the Office of School and Public Lands to transfer property to another government entity for the appraised price, and the combined appraised value of the 2 parcels selected for the new prison is $7.9-million dollars.

       Corrections Secretary Kellie Wasko says the location is “the most suitable for a modern correctional facility that meets the state’s public safety requirements while having the least impact on the growth of the community. 

     Wasko says it’s also a “financially responsible choice to utilize land that the state already owns.

       The South Dakota State Legislature provided funding for new prison facilities, including a new men’s prison, in each of the last 2 state budgets through the Incarceration Construction Fund. 

      $52-million was earmarked this year to buy the land and pay for the needed architectural and engineering services with another $270,7-million allocated for construction.

       Governor Kristi Noem said in July that using the state’s $96.8-million dollar budget surplus for prison construction will avoid the need to take on unnecessary debt.

      The new prison will largely replace the existing State Penitentiary, which has just a 30-acre site and still uses some of the original structure built in 1881 as the Territorial Prison 8 years before South Dakota was granted statehood.

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