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RAPID CITY, S.D. - It was groundbreaking day for the new women's correctional facility in Rapid City. Local and state officials on hand for the ceremony on the lot at 1056 North Creek Drive off East North and Eglin Streets. The medium security facility will house up to 288 women and will be surrounded by a double-fenced perimeter with razor wire and detection devices that will be patrolled 24-7.
Corrections officials say a lot of factors are considered when choosing the site for a facility such as this. Secretary of South Dakota Department of Corrections Kellie Wasko says, "You look at a lot of things, including the surrounding areas. What is the infrastructure, how much land is available so that we can accomplish the physical plant construction that is going to be necessary to meet our needs."
he state legislature appropriated $3.8 million for the purchase of the land in 2022. Another $60 million was then appropriated for construction. State Rep. Mike Derby for District 34 says, "For a special appropriation of this size it went pretty smooth. And the main reason, of course, is there's a need, a big need. The women's prison in Pierre is at 150% capacity. You've got women double and triple bunking in spaces that weren't really designed."
Work on the facility will begin immediately. It's hoped to be completed in late 2024 or early 2025.