Juvenile Corrections

QUEST Program


The QUEST program is designed to improve the quality of life for female offenders through counseling, treatment and education.


The QUEST program is located within the boundaries of Custer State Park and the Black Hills National Forest in Southwestern South Dakota. The city of Custer is approximately 13 miles from the program and is a major tourism location during the summer months. It is common to see deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and bison while visiting the QUEST campus.

The living area is designed in a dormitory style housing 32 girls between the ages of 14 and 17. The girls each have their own bunk, dresser and storage area as well as a changing area with closets for each girl. Within the same building are administrative offices for staff, counseling rooms and a large room to accommodate group interaction or meetings. A short walk allows the girls to attend school and utilize the gymnasium that are located on campus as well.

Program Participants

The girls that are served by QUEST have all been placed in the custody of the DOC by the court system for a variety of reasons. Both Delinquent Children and Children in Need of Supervision may be placed at QUEST at the direction of the Director of Placement. The girls are primarily non-violent offenders. Any girl that fails to abide by the rules of the program may be dismissed from the program and placed in a different environment consistent with their correctional and treatment needs.

Program Basics

QUEST is licensed as a Group Care facility in accordance with all regulations established by the State of South Dakota, the Department of Social Services and Federal regulations. An example of these regulations is that the staff to student ratio must be 1 staff to 8 students during waking hours. The designation allows the DOC to utilize multiple treatment strategies to effectively serve the girls in the program.

QUEST serves girls that have in many cases been physically or sexually abused or have significant chemical dependency issues requiring a level of treatment that is generally not available within a community setting. A typical stay at QUEST will be 6 to 9 months and involves the girls participating in counseling, life skills development, educational classes, physical activity, learning structure and self discipline.

Each girl is placed on an Individual Treatment Plan within 30 days of entering the program. The student, parents, guardians, JCA and counselor are all involved in identifying strengths and needs of each student. Each plan consists of goals and objectives for the student to address during their placement. Specific time frames are established to allow students to measure their progress against the established plan.

Students are provided with clothing and essentials during their stay at QUEST This prevents students from potentially identifying with any gang or social status groups based on the type of clothing they may wear. Students are encouraged to maintain contact with their family, if appropriate, during their stay. Each student is provided one phone call per week to family members at no cost. Additional phone privileges are available to upper level students as approved by the program manager. Students may also have visitors on a weekly basis in accordance with the DOC visitation policy. Family members are also encouraged to participate in additional visitation and family activities such as open house or holiday activities.

The amount of personal property a student may possess during the program is limited due space availability. Parents should contact program staff prior to sending any items through the mail transporting them during a visit to ensure it is an allowable item. Students may have written communication with family members as often as desired. The DOC will provide each student with 3 stamps and envelopes each week.

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QUEST Program
Address: 25298 Badger Clark Road
Custer, SD 57730
Phone: (605) 255-4835
Fax: (605) 255-4277

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