Journal Special Report: Millions in funding sought to reduce rising jail population and exploding costs
Pennington County's forefathers never intended for their jail to become the sprawling, multimillion-dollar, 624-bed behemoth it is now.
That’s clear from the look of the old 1921 jail, a quaint little structure that is now overshadowed, literally, by the modern mega-jail on county government’s campus in eastern downtown Rapid City.
The old boutique-sized jail, with a few modifications and additions, served the county well for many years. By the time of the nation’s first jail census in 1970, the average daily inmate count in Pennington County was only 51.