Work center plays integral part in inmate rehabilitation

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City's Community Work Center is designed to help transition inmates back into society. That's according to Denny Kaemingk, Secretary of South Dakota's Department of Corrections.

Inmates there are in the non-secure facility so they can participate in work release or community service.

It's part of the overall rehabilitation goal of the state prison system.
"These individuals we need to accept them back into the community we need to give them the opportunity to be a good citizens and most importantly good neighbors," Kaemingk said.

According to Kaemingk, more than 450 inmates are currently either on work release or participating in community service around the state. He says each time someone walks away, the department of corrections scrutinizes their policies. However...he insists the minimum units are important tools to curb repeat offenders because inmates can find work while still in prison.

"Then the parole will come around and to where they can move out into the community where they came from and the Rapid City community and retain that same job that they had that they started while they were in the minimum unit and that's the kind of stuff down that we like to see and certainly is more successful if that can occur," said Kaemingk.

There are four community work centers in the state -- one in Rapid City, one in Sioux Falls, and another in Yankton all for men. Women are housed in community work center in Pierre.