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South Dakota Court Records

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Where to Find South Dakota Inmate Records

Inmate records are the legal documentation about persons placed in custody in South Dakota. The two levels of incarceration in the state: jails and prisons. Jails are limited incarceration facilities under county or city law enforcing agency supervision. They usually accommodate recently arrested inmates awaiting trial or persons having shorter sentences (less than one year). Prisons are more organized incarceration facilities that provide housing and rehabilitation programs for persons doing their sentence. Prison facilities are under state management.

Are Incarceration Records Public Information in South Dakota?

Except for sensitive information such as health assessment or financial information, the South Dakota Sunshine Law provides access to any interested person to view or inspect inmate records. Persons in incarceration by federal law may have some of their information concealed from public access. Such information includes financial details and health assessment reports.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Information is Contained in a South Dakota Inmate Record?

Like every other public record, the names of the involved party and case file number are the first defining features of an inmate record. Others are:

  • The age or date of birth of the offender;
  • The basic physical descriptions such as complexion, eye color, tattoos or markings on the body, gender, fingerprints, and ethnicity;
  • Details of the offense which the offender committed and the sentence served by the court;
  • It also states the status of the inmate, if he or she is awaiting trial in detention or serving time in prison;
  • It shows the date of likely release or parole if any;
  • It provides the list of rehabilitation programs into which the offender has enrolled during their stay in incarceration.

Where do I Look Up an Inmate in South Dakota?

The court with jurisdiction over felony cases in South Dakota can provide information about persons committed to incarceration. The arrests register at the law enforcement department can provide quick information about persons in county jail custody. A visit to the relevant state prison facility can also provide an enquirer with access to inmate information. Otherwise, contact the South Dakota state department of corrections for inquiries. The DOC website has an Offender Locator tab containing information about those serving time in prisons on parole or released.

How Do I Conduct an Inmate Search in South Dakota?

There is necessary information required before a search can yield meaningful results. For state prisons in South Dakota, have in hand the following information:

  • D. O. C. identification number
  • First and last names of the offender

Persons who wish to go directly to the incarceration facility must confirm the right address. The offender locator tab leads users to the database. The information available here is limited to the status of the offender. Mugshots are not available unless upon meeting specific eligibility requirements. Also, case histories of inmates in state prisons are closed to public access.

To get physical copies, contact the Office of the Attorney General of South Dakota. Here, records of arrests and prison entries available. A request for copies will require filling out and submitting an authorization and release form. There is a $24 processing fee for searches.

County and city jail records are much easier to access by going to the sheriff’s or police department with oversight of the facility. Otherwise, go to the county or city website and look for the law enforcement agency page. Some counties maintain an electronic register online. If not, there should be guidelines on how to get copies on the website. Either way, it directs an inquirer on how to get physical copies. Note that mugshot copies are closed from public access.

How Can I Find an Inmate for Free in South Dakota?

South Dakota provides free access to viewing records either in person or remotely through an internet compatible device. Requests for physical copies or to search for details of prison information about an inmate will attract a payment if the request is going to the Office of the Attorney General. The same goes for a request for physical copies. Otherwise, access to inmate records in South Dakota is mostly free.

How to Find Old Inmate Records in South Dakota

Old inmate records include those that have exceeded the retention date. Retention time is eight years from the release of the inmates. These files remain in a particular place within the incarceration facility in South Dakota, along with inactive health records.

How do I Find Inmate Death Records in South Dakota?

If an inmate’s death is because of natural reasons such as health problems, the Department of Corrections reports them to the Office of Vital Records like every other death. To put it differently, the office of the vital records statistics in South Dakota will hold dead inmates’ records. It’s a little different if the death of the inmate is because of the court execution sentence. The death penalty is still in force as capital punishment for first-degree murders in South Dakota. Their records are available both on their website and upon request at the agency.

How do I Conduct a Federal Prison Inmate Search?

All federal prisons across the United States under the watch and management of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All notes of information about inmates in these facilities enter a centralized database. It means that anyone anywhere with the right search terms may look up a federal inmate. The Inmate Locator tab on the Bureau of Prisons website provides one-stop access to search by name or identification number. Searches by identification number are more reliable than by name since identification numbers are unique to each inmate. Federal prisoners get committed to the institutions by at least one of four federal agencies. Each of these agencies has a unique code for identifying which prisoner is a product of their investigation. They are:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
  • DC Department of Corrections (DCDC)
  • Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

Each of these agencies has a prefix attached to the identification numbers of the inmates. Name searches could be unpredictable since over one individual can bear the same name. The Inmate locator allows users to search for old inmate records dating back to the previous century.

How Long Does it Take For An Inmate’s Information to Be Published in South Dakota Inmate Locator?

It depends on the reason for incarceration. If the individual gets arrested, he undergoes documentation in terms of his personal identifying information, the charges against him, and the likely process he or she may go through. When an offender earns a conviction and a prison sentence, the court issuing the ruling commits him to the Department of Corrections. There is a preliminary period that allows the inmate to get familiar with the operations of the facility. During this period, the facility interviews the inmate and conducts medical tests, such as mental wellness checks, to determine the inmate’s custody level. A wealth of documentation and logging of information goes on at this point. When it is complete, then the offender locator database gets updated accordingly. How long it takes to get this done depends on how quickly this process gets completed.

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