frequent questions

Inmate Property

What kind of personal property items are inmates allowed to have while in prison?

Personal property items are limited in prison because of a number of issues, including security and space.

Inmates can keep items such as a wedding band when they come into prison. Clothing is issued to the inmates. Most other property items must be purchased through commissary.

Can inmates have tobacco products in prison?

No. As of December, 2000 all South Dakota DOC facilities were tobacco-free. Tobacco is considered to be contraband and inmates face disciplinary action if they are found to be in possession of tobacco or tobacco products.

What happens to someone who brings tobacco to an inmate?

SDCL 24-2-22 states that any person who delivers or procures to be delivered, or possesses with the intention to deliver, to any inmate in the state penitentiary, or deposits or conceals in or around any facility or place used to house inmates, or in any mode of transport entering upon the grounds of any facility or place and its ancillary facilities used to house inmates, any article which is unlawful for an inmate to possess pursuant to state law or the rules of the Department of Corrections with the intent that any inmate obtain or receive such article, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Can inmates receive books or other publications such as magazines while in prison?

Yes. Books and magazines are allowed, but only if sent to the inmate directly from the publisher. You cannot send in a book or magazine to an inmate.

Inmates are not allowed to exchange, buy, trade, barter or rent another inmate's magazines or books.

Inmates are not allowed to have any publications which graphically feature nudity or sexually-explicit conduct.