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March 29, 2018 05:59 PM

Associate Prison Warden No Longer Employed By DOC

Springfield, SD

An Associate Warden at the prison in Springfield is no longer an employee of the Department of Corrections amidst employee complaints.

KELOLAND Investigates has learned that Mike Durfee State Prison Associate Warden Jennifer Stanwick was placed on leave Thursday morning; by the evening, Department of Corrections Secretary Denny Kaemingk sent an email saying Stanwick was no longer an employee. 

Our sources who work at the prison tell us that Kaemingk was in Springfield Thursday morning to escort Stanwick out.

Our investigation into problems in South Dakota’s prisons two years ago looked at high turnover, dangerous working conditions and low employee morale.  Correctional officers in Springfield complained about staff shortages, current procedures and management issues.

A correctional officer tells KELOLAND Investigates that the South Dakota Bureau of Human resources was at the prison recently conducting interviews with staff.
He and his coworkers complained that Stanwick didn't follow prison policy or procedures, played favorites and drove other employees away. 

In our original 2016 KELOLAND News Investigation, we found that only a handful of employees had filed formal complaints over the years, but Warden Bob Dooley admitted to us there were issues. 

"There is a morale problem. I can't say that there isn't.  But it's not a widespread morale problem.  But honestly, we don't get a lot of complaints," Dooley said in March of 2016.

KELOLAND Investigates obtained an email from Warden Dooley to the prison staff that was sent out Thursday morning.  

The email also lets staff know who will be covering her duties.

We asked the Department of Corrections about placing Stanwick's employment status and were told they don't comment on personnel matters.

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