Groundbreaking planned for new women’s prison in Rapid City

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELOLAND) – As plans for a new men’s prison continue to be discussed in eastern South Dakota, a groundbreaking for a new women’s prison is scheduled for next week.

The South Dakota Corrections Commission is planning to meet at 9 a.m. MT Monday, Oct. 16 at the Rapid City Parole Office. The agenda for the meeting includes updates on Pheasantland Industries and a new shop business plan proposal. At 11 a.m. MT, officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new 308-bed women’s prison.

In April 2022, the state purchased 20 acres of land near Feeding South Dakota along North Creek Drive in northeastern Rapid City.

In 2022, state lawmakers passed a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Kristi Noem to create an incarceration construction fund.

In March 2023, Noem signed House Bill 1016 authorizing the DOC $60 million from the incarceration construction fund for the “planning, site preparation, designing, and construction of a prison facility for offenders committed to the Department of Corrections in Rapid City.”

“Funding new prisons is a public safety issue,” Noem said in a news release about prison funding. “Last year, we made the point to legislators that this was necessary. I’m glad that just a year later, they have come to agree and appropriately prioritized the security of South Dakotans.”

A memo from the Bureau of Finance and Management, said the 308-bed women’s prison in Rapid City would help solve the serious overcrowding problem at the women’s prison in Pierre.

“A new prison would allow for a therapeutic community where drug offenders would receive addiction treatment,” the memo states. “The expansion of prison-based drug treatment programs can help reduce the likelihood of recidivism and help control future overcrowding of our prisons.”