Historic Timeline


Date Event


West Hall of Penitentiary is extended; 88 additional cells installed.

1907 State Legislature changed name of Dakota Reform School to South Dakota State Training School.
August 17, 1922 Inmates took Warden George T. Jameson hostage during an escape. One of the inmates was killed during the manhunt. The others were captured, returned to prison and sentenced to life in prison.


East Hall constructed at Penitentiary.

March 6, 1936

Prison break at Penitentiary leaves 3 people, including Warden Eugene Reiley, dead.

October 11, 1954

Prison riot at Penitentiary.


Penitentiary Recreation yard is completed. Fifth floor of main building completed. Warehouses remodeled for use by PI. Chapel and auditorium remodeled.


The shirt factory building at the Penitentiary was rebuilt as a school.


Coolidge High School building completed.


Five hundred acres three miles west of Ellis, SD are purchased for prison farm. Program became known as West Farm.


Dormitory built at West Farm.


Legislature appropriates funds to build housing unit for women prisoners at the State Hospital at Yankton.


Legislature approves closing down USD/Springfield and turning facility into a state prison.

December 1984

Female inmates move to Springfield.

January 1985

Male inmates arrive in Springfield.

November 1988

Voters approve Constitutional Amendment D, which puts charitable and penal institutions under legislative rules and restrictions, rather than under control of Board of Charities and Corrections.

March 1989

Governor George S. Mickelson signs SB 131, which abolishes the Board of Charities and Corrections and establishes a Department of Corrections.

July 1989 Department of Corrections becomes a State Agency. Lynne DeLano is appointed as the first Secretary of the Department of Corrections.
February 1993 The G. Norton Jameson Annex opened in Sioux Falls as a secure unit adjacent to the main building of the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
November 6, 1996 Patrick Henry Brady Boot Camp opens on the grounds of the Custer Youth Corrections Center.
October 1997 Juvenile Prison opens on grounds of State Training School in Plankinton.

Solem Public Safety Center opens. The facility is home to the South Dakota Women's Prison and the DOC Administration offices.