South Dakota Secretary of Corrections Kelly Wasko testify in front of Senate Judiciary Committee

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — South Dakota Secretary of Corrections briefed legislators Thursday on the issues she deals with in the state’s prisons.

However, legislators did not ask her about the controversial siting of a new men’s prison between Harrisburg and Canton in Lincoln County.

In her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wasko said the department is trying to reduce recidivism–returning inmates–by three percent.

Wasko also admitted to ongoing personnel issues, including staffing and employee turnover.

She said the department hopes to reduce staff turnover by 10%.

The Corrections Secretary also says they are working to reduce offenders returning to prison.

She says a program for minimum security women prisoners who give birth is successful. Wasko says none of the mothers have re-offended and all still have their babies.