inmate work program

emergency response

Since1996, the South Dakota Department of Corrections has developed a readiness to address any type of disaster or special project that arises. Inmates and DOC staff have assisted in cleaning up after tornadoes and thunderstorms and in preventing flooding and other natural disasters.

Each DOC Unit has a disaster response trailer that is fully supplied with chain saws, generator, power and hand tools, shovels, rakes and other equipment necessary for disaster response. Each unit has transportation capable of moving the full contingent of inmates that are physically and socially able to work in a non-correctional setting. Each DOC Unit has staff that have been specifically trained and briefed and are equipped to respond to an emergency call at any time of day.

Each DOC Unit has maintained a roster of inmates who are able to participate in operations off the unit. Inmates are screened for type of crime, and medical or physical limitation that would prevent them from doing the work or put them or the community at risk. Any special training an inmate may have such as a fire fighter certification is also noted.

DOC has also established a response management team that meets periodically to stay abreast of the latest techniques in Emergency Management Response systems.

Click on the picture(s) below to see a larger version.

Cresbard Storm Cleanup
Chainsaw cutting a fallen tree in half.
Inmates assisting with Aberdeen cleanup
Inmates remove fallen trees following a storm in Cresbard. Female inmates trained to operate chain saws help clear debris in Lebanon, SD. Inmates assist the City of Aberdeen with cleaning up following a 2007 flood.
Flood cleanup
Watertown Sandbagging Crew
Huron Sandbagging Crew
Inmates assist with flooding clean-up in Hermosa. Inmates help sandbag following flooding in Watertown. Inmates fill sandbags in Huron following 2007 flooding in eastern South Dakota.
Inmates filled more than 1 million sandbags during the Missouri River flooding in 2011
Inmates filled more than 1 million sandbags during the Missouri River flooding in 2011.