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South Dakota Inmate Search

The South Dakota Inmate Search is a helpful tool that provides the public with access to information about inmates currently held in the state's correctional system. It is a centralized database containing relevant details about individuals convicted of felonies and sentenced to the South Dakota Department of Corrections (SDDOC).

Users can obtain essential information through this database, such as the offenders' names, identification numbers, and incarceration dates. Additionally, it details the inmates' current location within the correctional facilities, which assists in tracking their whereabouts.

This search tool enables concerned individuals, including family members, friends, legal representatives, or potential employers, to gather crucial information about inmates. It allows them to stay informed about the status and location of their incarcerated loved ones, facilitating communication and support during their confinement.

Moreover, the inmate search tool is essential for promoting transparency and accountability in the South Dakota criminal justice system. By granting public access to official records, it builds trust and empowers citizens to oversee the progress of convicted individuals. This transparency fosters a sense of security within the community.

However, there are certain limitations to using this inmate search system. Firstly, it only includes information about felony offenders sentenced to the SDDOC. The database does not cover individuals sentenced to county jails, federal prisons, juvenile detention centers, probation, or other forms of supervision.

Therefore, it may not provide a comprehensive overview of all individuals involved in the South Dakota criminal justice system.

Furthermore, the department cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information within the system. In some cases, errors or omissions may occur, leading to potential discrepancies. If users identify inaccurate information, they are encouraged to contact the SDDOC for clarification and correction.

What Are South Dakota Inmate Records?

South Dakota Inmate Records refer to the official documents and information compiled by the state's correctional system regarding individuals incarcerated within its facilities. These records offer a more comprehensive data collection than the South Dakota Inmate Search tool provides.

Inmate records in South Dakota typically provide a range of information the public can access. While the exact details may vary, here is a list of possible or typical information that one can find in the records:

  • Full name of the inmate
  • Date of birth
  • Physical description, including height, weight, and eye color
  • Photograph or mugshot
  • Current location within the correctional facility
  • The offense committed and the corresponding charges
  • Date of incarceration
  • Sentencing information, including the length of the sentence
  • Probation or parole status, if applicable
  • The release date or eligibility for parole, if applicable
  • Contact information for the facility or custodian managing the inmate's records

In this state, the South Dakota Sunshine Law mandates that government records, including inmate records, are publicly accessible unless specifically exempted by law. This legal framework ensures that individuals have the right to obtain information about inmates, contributing to a well-informed society and fostering trust in the administration of justice.

However, certain records related to an inmate's disciplinary matters cannot be accessed or copied as per South Dakota Codified Laws (SDCL) section 1-27-1.5 (26). Additionally, an inmate's health records are not available to the public either. These records are only disclosed to eligible individuals and for suitable purposes.

For instance, the warden or secretary of corrections may allow the release of an escaped inmate's protected health records if it can assist in locating the inmate. One can find information about the circumstances that justify the disclosure of an inmate's secure health records in the SDDOC publication titled "Inmate Medical Records."

How To Obtain Inmate Records in South Dakota

Obtaining inmate records in South Dakota is a straightforward process, thanks to the public accessibility provided by the South Dakota Sunshine Law. Though third-party services offer access to these records, the reliable source to obtain them is through various government resources.

When requesting inmate records through the state government resources, one must first gather basic information about the inmate being sought, particularly their name and current location. Having these details will facilitate the search and ensure more accurate results.

Then, determine the specific correctional facility currently holding the inmate. This information can help narrow the search and ensure a more focused approach. Interested individuals must ascertain whether the inmate is in jail or prison. This distinction is crucial as different facilities may have separate systems for managing inmate records.

After that, check online resources to determine if the facility provides inmate record access through its official websites or online databases. Many correctional facilities have dedicated portals or search tools that allow the public to access these records.

Contacting the appropriate record custodian becomes necessary if online records are unavailable or do not yield the desired results. These custodians are typically responsible for managing and providing access to inmate records. Contact information for the custodian can often be obtained through the facility's official website or by contacting the facility directly.

In cases where contact information for the custodian is not readily available, alternative authorities can be contacted. These may include the SDDOC, county clerks, Sheriff's Offices, police departments, or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP). They can provide guidance or direct individuals to the relevant custodian.

What Are South Dakota Prison and Jail Records?

South Dakota Prison and Jail Records refer to the statistical data encompassing the incarcerated population within the state's correctional facilities. According to the latest information, South Dakota has a higher incarceration rate than other states, especially for violent and drug-related crimes.

South Dakota incarcerates around 7,300 people across its various correctional facilities. Most inmates are held in state prisons and local jails,  while federal prisons and juvenile detention centers incarcerate a smaller portion of the inmate population in South Dakota.

When examining South Dakota's inmates' crimes, the state jails the most significant proportion, 43.63%, for violent offenses, including murder, rape, and assault. The state incarcerates the following highest number, 33.05% of inmates, for drug-related crimes. South Dakota jails the remainder for non-violent crimes such as property or public order offenses.

Tracking incarceration statistics and trends for various facilities can provide insights into criminal justice policies and their outcomes across the state. Examining the underlying reasons for criminal behavior can also inform efforts toward rehabilitation and lowered recidivism.

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in South Dakota?

South Dakota maintains several essential correctional facilities in the criminal justice system. These prisons and jails function to carry out sentences, rehabilitate offenders, and protect public safety.

When interested individuals perform a South Dakota Inmate Search, they must be aware of the different prisons and jails throughout the state to speed up finding information about a specific inmate. Primarily, the state's incarceration system consists of four corrections institutions, which are as follows:

South Dakota State Prisons

South Dakota state prisons are correctional facilities operated by the SDDOC that house inmates sentenced to longer-term incarceration, usually over one year.

Inmates in South Dakota state prisons include those convicted of more serious crimes like murder, rape, robbery, and major drug offenses. Prisons aim to provide secure and controlled environments focused on punishing criminal behavior while also providing rehabilitation programs.

As of 2023, there are six state prison facilities located across South Dakota. The SDDOC operates most prison facilities to house only male inmates, but the department reserves one facility to incarcerate women exclusively. Here are the six state prison facilities in South Dakota:

South Dakota Federal Prisons

Federal prisons in South Dakota are correctional facilities run by the FBOP, the agency under the U.S. Department of Justice that manages incarcerated individuals convicted of federal crimes.

The roles of federal prisons differ from state facilities in that they house offenders prosecuted under federal jurisdiction, such as defendants who have violated federal laws, committed crimes on federal land, or broken rules specific to border security and national defense.

As such, federal prisons must uphold federal statutes and conduct incarceration according to national standards.

As of 2023, there is only one federal prison in South Dakota, which is the FCI (Federal Prison Camp) Yankton - a low-security facility housing adult male inmates. FCI Yankton holds around 400 inmates convicted of federal offenses and sentenced to shorter periods of incarceration.

South Dakota County Jails

County jails in South Dakota are locally operated short-term detention facilities with inmates awaiting trial or sentencing and those convicted of minor crimes with sentences under a year. It helps maintain community safety by temporarily removing criminal offenders from society.

County Sheriff's Offices generally manage and oversee the operations of South Dakota county jails. The county sheriff is an elected official responsible for law enforcement activities within their respective county, which includes operating the county jail system.

They are tasked with maintaining the safety and security of inmates, managing the jail staff, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

The current number of county jails in South Dakota fluctuates depending on the total number of counties and each one's specific incarceration needs at any given time. South Dakota has 66 counties, and it is reasonable to expect that there would be a county jail facility within each county.

However, the specifics, including the number and locations of county jails, can change over time due to various factors such as budgetary considerations or population changes.

To obtain accurate and up-to-date information about South Dakota county jails, individuals can contact the respective county sheriff using the online directory provided by the South Dakota Sheriffs' Association. Some offices maintain official websites that provide information on the county jail, including its location, contact details, visiting hours, and inmate lookup services.

South Dakota Juvenile Detention Centers

Juvenile detention centers in South Dakota are secure facilities overseen by the SDDOC that temporarily house minors accused of committing a delinquent act or adjudicated as juveniles. These centers are part of the juvenile corrections system, which handles accused offenders under 18 separately from adults.

The juvenile corrections system in South Dakota places youth with specific needs in various in-state and out-of-state facilities. It also provides contractual foster care and adolescent aftercare services. The system uses evidence-based practices to prepare minors for successful community integration while ensuring public safety.

Individuals can visit the "Juvenile Corrections" page on the official SDDOC website to obtain information about South Dakota juvenile detention centers. The web page provides access to various resources, including information about detention facilities, services, programs, and facilities' contact details for further inquiries.

How To Perform Inmate Search in South Dakota

To perform a South Dakota Inmate Search, individuals must first understand that each type of facility has its process for searching for inmate information.

Individuals must use the Adult Corrections Offender Locator to search for inmates in South Dakota state prisons. With this tool, users must enter the prisoner's DOC number or name, complete the Captcha verification, and click "Submit."

After clicking the "Submit" button, a well-organized table will display the inmate's DOC number and name, and clicking on the DOC number provides access to detailed information, such as crime details and the incarceration facility.

For federal inmates, one must use the FBOP's inmate locator instead. The FBOP's online search can provide information on federal prisoners nationwide using the prison's name, register number, or other identifiers.

For individuals seeking information about jail inmates in specific counties, it is advisable to search the respective county websites. Some South Dakota counties provide online inmate listings or search tools, allowing people to look up current detainees.

For example, the Clay County Sheriff has a list of jailed inmates accessible through their website. Similarly, the Minnehaha Sheriff's Office website offers a complete inmate listing or an inmate search tool that allows users to search using the inmate's last name.

Additionally, contacting the county jail or the Sheriff's Office can help locate a person in jail.

Regarding inmates in juvenile detention centers, their records remain private until they reach 18. Therefore, online searching for inmates in juvenile detention centers is impossible. However, concerned parties, including family and friends, can contact the SDDOC or facility directly to inquire about a specific inmate.

How To Contact an Inmate in South Dakota

When a friend or family member is incarcerated in South Dakota, maintaining contact is vital for supporting that person during their sentence. The main methods available for communicating with inmates in South Dakota prisons and jails are phone calls and mail. There are specific regulations in place to govern these types of contact.

Phone Calls

The SDDOC allows inmates to make outgoing phone calls from state prisons. During intake, the facilities issue inmates a Personal Identification Number (PIN), enabling them to set up an approved call list of up to 20 phone numbers. Inmates place calls using facility telephones and tablets and may make collect or debit calls within the state or long distance.

Friends and family can set up prepaid debit accounts to receive inmate calls. This option allows them to avoid collect call charges appearing on their phone bill.

Note that South Dakota state prisons prohibited inmates from making third-party or incoming calls except for emergencies. Additionally, outgoing calls are subject to monitoring, except those to attorneys regarding legal matters.

If an individual does not wish to receive calls from a particular inmate, they can contact the facility to have their phone number blocked. Each facility has rules regarding inmate phone access, a privilege that can be suspended or restricted.

For additional information on contacting inmates in state prisons through phone calls, visit the "Inmate Telephone/Messaging Access" page on the official SDDOC website.

For other correctional facility types like county jails, federal prisons, and juvenile detention centers, it is best to contact the handling agency or the facility itself or visit its respective website to get accurate information on contacting inmates through phone calls.


In addition to phone calls, sending mail is another way to communicate with inmates in South Dakota. However, recognize that specific regulations and guidelines regarding correspondence may vary depending on the inmate's facility. Therefore, contacting the facility or the responsible agency is the best way to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.

Generally, when sending mail, envelopes should include the inmate's full name, identification number, and the correct address of the correctional facility, which are all obtainable through the South Dakota Inmate Search. Furthermore, there are usually guidelines on what to include in an envelope, such as the number of pages and photos. Some facilities only permit postcards.

Incoming mail sent to inmates may be subject to inspection for security purposes. This inspection aims to prevent the introduction of contraband into the correctional facility. Thus, follow the facility's rules and restrictions to ensure the mail reaches the intended recipient.

How To Visit an Inmate in South Dakota

Visiting an incarcerated loved one in a South Dakota state prison requires following the specific procedures set by the SDDOC.

Prospective visitors must first complete the SDDOC's visitation form, which they can download online, request from the facility, or obtain from the inmate. They must then submit the form to the institution housing the inmate. The inmate must also fill out a visit list verification form.

The SDDOC provides two main visitation types. It allows Class I visits in designated areas within adult facilities, permitting limited inmate-visitor physical contact. The SDDOC also facilitates Class II "no-contact" visits, separating inmates from visitors by glass.

Once approved, the facility places the prospective visitors on the inmate's approved visitors list, enabling them to schedule a visit online using the SDDOC visitation scheduling system.

Visitors can schedule visits up to two weeks in advance but must do so no later than 72 hours before the desired session. Each state prison facility sets scheduled visitation hours that visitors must check before planning an inmate visit.

During the visit, the SDDOC requires all visitors aged 16 and older to present valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license or passport.

For minors under 16 without ID, the SDDOC mandates original birth certificates, social security cards, court orders, or adoption certificates instead. Children under five can be exempted from providing ID if they have not yet obtained documentation.

The SDDOC facilities have specific dress codes and conduct rules for visitations to maintain safety and security. Visitors are expected to review and follow these policies or risk denied entry or loss of future visit privileges.

Note that the visitation policies outlined above are for state prisons. Rules at county jails, federal prisons, and juvenile facilities may differ. To get accurate details for inmates at these facilities, contact the facility or agency responsible directly or check the institution's website.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in South Dakota

Family and friends looking to send funds to an incarcerated loved one in South Dakota have a few options. The SDDOC allows inmates to create authorized sub-accounts for receiving money if they have signed the required forms upon admission. Generally, only approved visitors, attorneys, or those authorized by the warden may deposit into an inmate's account.

One way to send money is through the mail. Individuals can mail money orders and U.S. cashier's checks made out to the inmate to the mailing address provided by the facility. While facilities do not accept personal checks, individuals can also mail business or payroll checks to inmates. The facility will then deposit the funds into the inmate's institutional account.

Another method is electronic transfer. Online deposit services like JailATM may be available at some SDDOC institutions to transfer money securely to an inmate's account. Contacting the specific facility to ask about electronic payment availability is advisable.

Some locations also have on-site kiosks for depositing cash into inmates' books. Friends or family visiting an incarcerated individual may be able to utilize these machines to transfer money instantly.

Note that the money transfer options described above apply specifically to inmates in South Dakota state prisons. To send funds to an inmate housed in a county jail, federal prison, or juvenile detention center, contact the agency or facility directly for their specific procedures. Checking the institution's website for guidance on sending money is highly recommended.

Moreover, when sending money to inmates, use the appropriate South Dakota Inmate Search tool to verify the inmate's complete name, identification number, and current facility before processing any deposit or transfer. Accurately confirming these details ensures funds are successfully delivered to the intended incarcerated individual.


Counties in South Dakota