SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Now that funding for two new South Dakota state prisons has been approved, the state is hoping that will help solve the issue of overcrowding at the women’s prison in Pierre and the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. But is overcrowding the only issue happening within prison walls?
Rebecca Shaw was just released from the women’s prison in February after serving nine months for drug possession charges. She says she saw overcrowding that led to violence amongst inmates, but she also experienced issues with her medical needs not being met.
“I never once seen a heart doctor. I have a pacemaker defibrillator in my chest and I had some problems with it, went to the hospital. Staff didn’t know what to do, the nursing didn’t know what to do. So they just left me untreated. I never seen a cardiologist or anything. I filed grievances, I filed many, many grievances. My grievances never got answered,” Shaw said.
In a KELOLAND Investigation, Lauren Soulek sits down with Shaw and a mother of a current State Penitentiary inmate to look into the current issues they are seeing within the South Dakota prison walls and how they go beyond just the number of bodies in the cells.