Prison funding bills head to Gov. Noem

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Spending bills authorizing over $380 million for new men’s and women’s prisons passed the Senate Wednesday afternoon.

House Bill 1016, which allocates $60 million to construct a women’s facility in Rapid City, passed 32 to 1.

The money comes from the state’s incarceration construction fund.

House Bill 1017, which allocates around $320 million in planning and purchasing land for a men’s facility in the Sioux Falls area, also passed 32 to 1.

Approximately $217 million will go into the incarceration construction fund for work following the design phase.

The remainder will be used for planning and the purchase of land.

The state still needs to decide where the new men’s facility will be built in the Sioux Falls area.

The women’s prison in Rapid City would expand the capacity of the Department of Corrections to house and rehabilitate female offenders.

The men’s prison would replace most of the current penitentiary campus,

“The Hill” overlooking the Falls of the Big Sioux in Sioux Falls was built in 1881 when South Dakota was still a territory.

The state has yet to decide how that facility, with its massive stone walls, would be used for other purposes or torn down.

There was no debate on either bill.

The bills now head to Gov. Kristi Noem for her consideration.