Noem wants widespread changes at prisons after complaints

SIOUX FALLS | South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Friday that she is looking to make widespread changes in the state’s prison system after meeting with tired and discouraged employees working short-handed at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls.


The Republican governor fired the prison’s warden and deputy warden last week following an investigation into an anonymous complaint from a prison employee. It alleged low employee morale amid lagging pay raises and cuts to employee benefits. It also accused the prison leadership of allowing dangerous working conditions, with some employees receiving tactical equipment that was not “up to standards” as well as facing regular sexual harassment from supervisors.