South Dakota State Penitentiary

The South Dakota State Penitentiary is located in northern Sioux Falls, occupying approximately thirty acres. This facility houses approximately 700 inmates and is operated by the South Dakota Department of Corrections.

First constructed as a territorial prison in 1881, it became the South Dakota State Penitentiary when South Dakota was granted statehood in 1889. Though a large portion of the original buildings remain, numerous structural changes have occurred over the years.

The main Penitentiary facility contains three housing units. The G. Norton Jameson Annex opened in February 1993. The Jameson Annex contains three housing units within a secure perimeter and a Community Work Center for inmates on work release and community service status and parolees in the Community Transition Program, which is located outside the perimeter fence.

Inmate employment within the Penitentiary falls into two basic categories; institutional support and prison industries. Institutional support includes those employed in food service, as clerks for various departments, as cell orderlies and those working in maintenance. Prison Industries consists of upholstery, printing, sign, decal, license plates, carpentry, book bindery, machine shop, Braille unit, garments, and data entry. All but the garment and data entry work is done at the Penitentiary. Most of the work is done for government agencies.

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South Dakota State Penitentiary

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Visiting Hours and Rules

All visitation at South Dakota State Penitentiary must be scheduled online in advance by clicking here. Once you are an approved visitor, you will be able to see the available visiting times for your inmate on the scheduling site.

Visits may be delayed, suspended or cancelled because of security issues and some visitation schedules may be changed due to special activities. If you are traveling from out of town, you can call the facility control room to verify the visit schedules.

Requirements to Schedule a Visit
Valid photo ID is required for all visitors at check-in

Before scheduling a visit, you must submit a visitor verification form to become an approved visitor for your inmate at South Dakota State Penitentiary. You can do that by clicking here.

Once you are on the inmate’s approved visitor list, you can register for an in-person visit or video visit. All in-person visitation is scheduled on this website. You must provide GTL with a valid email address where you can receive email. GTL requires an email account for account creation and for using the online registration tool. 

Video Visitation

To schedule a video visit, please go to 

What items can I bring/not bring to a visit?

You are allowed to bring cash ($1 bills and change) for vending machines, bottles of baby formula, diapers, and receiving blankets. You must bring proper identification in order to visit an inmate. Lockers are available to visitors to store their coats and valuables.

Do not bring: tobacco products, cell phones/cameras/pagers, electronic and recording devices, watches and smart watches, medications, handbags, wallets, magazines/newspapers/books, toys, photo albums, lighters, and food stuffs. 

Visitors are subject to metal detectors and hand pat searches prior to entering, during or when leaving the visit area. DOC canines, Ion scanners or electronic devices may be used to detect the presence of controlled substances or narcotics. Refusal to be searched may result in the termination of visiting privileges.

Visitors must dress in an appropriate manner for their age and gender. Failure to adhere to the dress code will result in a visit being denied.

Physical Address

South Dakota State Penitentiary
1600 North Drive
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(605) 367-5051

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name/DOC Number
South Dakota State Penitentiary
PO Box 5911
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at South Dakota State Penitentiary can't receive incoming calls. But they do have access to phones during certain hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in South Dakota, please click here.

How to Send Money

Inmates may receive business/payroll checks, United States cashier's checks, or money orders through the mail only for deposit into their institutional account. Personal checks and cash are not accepted and will be returned to the sender at the expense of the inmate.

Family members can use a credit or debit card to send money through Simply create an account, choose "Commissary" and follow the prompts for state, facility, and inmate name. 

All incoming deposits are subject to the same policy as money order deposits. Please note that credit card deposits made online are assessed a fee, which is retained by the provider of the service and is not payable to DOC.

Programs For Inmates

Inmates are offered literacy, Adult Basic Education, and GED classes.

The state Department of Health provides medical, dental and optometric services for the adult corrections system. The state Department of Social Services provides mental health and chemical dependency services. Correctional Behavioral Health Treatment is also offered for sex offenders.


The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a multi-cultural, non-denominational, all volunteer organization that is dedicated to reducing interpersonal violence in society. AVP workshops are held regularly at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

In 2016, AVP celebrated its 100th workshop at the South Dakota State Penitentiary with a special dinner for outside facilitators, inmate facilitators and their families. Since 2007, AVP-South Dakota has served over 1,100 inmates.For more information, support and updates, please visit AVP South Dakota.


The Man-To-Man (M-2) program is made up of "sponsors" of inmates; they befriend and visit with the inmates regularly, help the inmate establish or reestablish a positive image of self, help them bridge gaps with society and help inmates re-enter society upon their release from prison. The M-2 program began at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in 1972.

Prospective M-2 =volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, have a church affiliation and no prior prison record. They are also required to attend an orientation session and are subject to a background check, just like any potential visitor to a prison. Once a prospective M-2 is approved for visitor access, a match is made with an inmate with similar interests.

The M-2 program was honored with the Governor's "Volunteer Program of the Year" award in 1993. It was also one of 42 citationists from more than five-thousand nominations for the President's "Points of Light" Volunteer Action Award in 1994.

Paroled Pups

Paroled Pups is the Department of Corrections' project in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society to help teach basic obedience commands to shelter dogs.Minimum-security inmates learn to train the dogs through a steady routine of consistent commands. The dogs receive much needed attention and socialization skills, which in turn will make them better pets. The training will increase the adaptability of the dogs while teaching inmates to train, groom, care for and socialize shelter dogs.

When the dogs finish their training at the prison, the paroled pups will be placed back into the community through adoption at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society.

Pictures of South Dakota State Penitentiary

Careers at South Dakota State Penitentiary

To find out more information about a career with the South Dakota Department of Corrections and available jobs at South Dakota State Penitentiary, click here.