Inmate Work Program
Historically, the utilization of inmate labor was limited to those activities that directly supported the correctional institutions or state institutions that provided inmate trusty housing. Activities that could be accomplished within the confines of a correctional facility were also addressed. In 1995, Governor Bill Janklow established a temporary minimum-security unit of fifty male inmates in Pierre. These inmates were deployed on a variety of deferred maintenance projects throughout the Capital complex. That initial effort was a total success and the program was expanded to include all minimum-security inmates. The scope, type and size of the projects that inmates were assigned to expanded as well.
Today, hundreds of inmates are employed in community service work projects statewide. Inmates not only work side-by-side with state employees on the day-to-day activities in state government, but also are working in communities, with non-profit agencies and with federal government agencies. Through these work experiences, inmates are gaining a work ethic and a sense of value and self worth. The work experiences have provided them with the tools and skills to make them productive members of the community when they are released. Inmates are becoming proficient in all facets of the construction trades, office skills, auto body repair, metal fabrication, building maintenance, heating and air conditioning, horticulture, welding, conservation and upholstery.
The inmate work program has allowed the State to accomplish more with less. Using inmate labor has saved tax dollars and allowed projects that would have otherwise been deferred to reach fruition. The citizens also recognize that it is a good use of a valuable resource that would otherwise be a burden to society rather than an asset.
If you would like to request information on arranging for an inmate crew to do community service work, call the Department of Corrections at 605-773-3478.
Click on the links below to learn more about these work projects.
|Capitol Complex||Local Projects|
|Emergency Response||State Institutions|
|Governor's House Project|