Basic services, 2022

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

South Dakota's delinquency services are organized at the both the state and local level. Secure detention is administered by local executive agencies, including county commission or boards as well as private contractors. 

Community supervision is administered at the state level by the Court Services Department (CSD), across seven judicial districts.

The South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC), a state executive department of corrections agency, administers commitments to state public facilities and aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor.

Pre-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is allowed in South Dakota's juvenile correctional facilities. Punitive confinement is allowed for up to 5 days, following a disciplinary hearing. Administrative detention imposed when a juvenile poses a threat to life, property, security, or disciplined operation of the facility may not to exceed 24 hours without approval from Superintendent and is reviewed every 24 hours for continued use.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) can be made by the Department or the committing courts. The Secretary of Corrections may order the release of a juvenile from DOC as a reward for good conduct upon satisfactory evidence of reformation. However, the committing court may order a youth's discharge from DOC jurisdiction after a hearing to determine if release will promote the youth's best interests. DOC uses the Youth Level of Service Inventory (YLSI) to inform decisions regarding the discharge of youth from DOC jurisdiction.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In South Dakota, Court Services Officers, within the Unified Judicial System's Court Services Department, provide probation supervision through seven judicial circuits. South Dakota encourages the use of the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) statewide through probation officer training. South Dakota uses the. Information from the YLS/CMI is used to develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, assign probation supervision level, develop probation case plans, and make community referrals for services. The state is aggregating the data from the YLS/CMI and uses it to support local reliability and validity testing, to assist probation administration and organization planning, and for ongoing policy research.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Other: intake for DJJ

Mental health screening tool used
Screening required but tools vary

South Dakota requires the use of a research based mental health screening tool through departmental administrative rules and requirements. A specific tool is not require but the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2) is often used at secure detention, probation, and corrections.

The behavioral health advisory group would coordinate activities around mental health screening and assessment in South Dakota and accesses training and technical assistance regarding mental health screening through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

South Dakota supports the proliferation of evidence-based programs and practice (EBPs) in juvenile justice by committing to the use of EBPs in its a formal South Dakota Department of Corrections mission statement policy. Additionally, the statutes define EBPs and include language around training for and use of EBPs in juvenile justice.

The Council of Juvenile Services coordinates activities around the implementation of EBPs in South Dakota and the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative Work Group sometimes also reviews EBPs to consider implementation.

South Dakota is currently involved in two initiatives, Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) and the Performance Based Standards Project. According to a state statute outcome data from service providers is also collected.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.



Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The South Dakota Department of Corrections publishes a recidivism rate for youth exiting juvenile correctional facilities. Recidivism is defined as the percentage of juvenile offenders that were released to aftercare during a reporting year and came back into the juvenile corrections system or were charged in the adult system.

Data sources

2011 Annual Report
Department of Corrections

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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