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February 06, 2012 06:20 PM

Life On Death Row

Sioux Falls, SD

So what is life like for a death row inmate in South Dakota?

The South Dakota Department of Corrections has a policy on what is offered to capital punishment inmates.

Cells on death row are a little bigger than 13 by 6 feet and only one inmate is kept in each cell. There is a window in each cell to provide natural sunlight. Capital punishment inmates have meals delivered to their cells and they are not allowed contact with other prisoners in the general prison population.

They are allowed outside of their cells for 45 minutes per day to use the recreation cage, which is a 20 by 8 foot exercise area. However, the rec cage is still inside the same housing unit, behind locked doors, within the Jameson Annex.

Capital punishment inmates are allowed up to two visitors per week. The meeting is through a glass-like window, with a telephone so no contact is allowed, and only members of clergy and family are allowed to visit a death row inmate.

As far as amenities, death row inmates have access to books from the prison library. They can purchase a radio or television through the prison commissary, but no inmates have access to the internet.

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