PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – The South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) has agreed to purchase two 160-acre parcels of land in rural Lincoln County. This land provides a sufficient site plan for a new men’s prison to replace much of the current State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.
“This site is the best choice for a modern correctional facility that supports our state’s public safety needs, minimizes the impact on community growth, and keeps us close to available workforce,” said Kellie Wasko, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Corrections. “We appreciate Governor Noem’s leadership, the Legislature’s financial support, and Commissioner Greenfield’s work to secure this land for the state’s public safety needs for generations to come.”
In both 2022 and 2023, the South Dakota State Legislature provided funding for the Incarceration Construction Fund for the purpose of constructing new prison facilities in South Dakota, including a new men’s prison. In 2023, the Legislature passed and Governor Noem signed HB 1017, which appropriated $52 million to purchase land and contract for architectural services, engineering services, and other required services to build a new men’s prison. That legislation also appropriated an additional $270.7 million for construction of the facility.
In July 2023, Governor Noem indicated, “we will be able to avoid unnecessary debt by using [the state’s $96.8 million budget surplus] for future prison construction costs.”
The land is located in rural Lincoln County on the western side of the corner of 477th and 278th street. The land is already owned by the state of South Dakota through the Office of School and Public Lands. State law allows School and Public Lands to transfer property to another government entity for the appraised value. The appraised value of both parcels has been set at a total of $7,910,000. Using land the state already owns is a financially responsible choice.
Commissioner Brock Greenfield acknowledged the historic role of the school and public land office: “This sale allows us to fulfill our constitutional duty to make money for education while providing a key public safety need for future.” The Office of School and Public Lands was established at statehood in 1889 just a few years after the current state prison was built in 1881.