Inmate debt and fees policies/reports (State-level) (Department of Corrections)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Department of Corrections of South Dakota.


From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the South Dakota Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following records:

The following materials regarding the assessment, collection, and balances of inmate fees and debt:

• All policies and procedures regarding the goods, services, or any other expenses for which inmates are or may become liable. Please include all policies on the garnishment/disbursement of funds from inmate accounts and wages (such as those related to mandatory saving, mandatory deductions, coverage of care, personal necessities, etc.), as well as all relevant reporting requirements. Please include all relevant data as regards to medical payments, room and board costs, meal fees, stamps and postage, hygienic materials, and any other expenses for which inmates are or may become liable, etc.

• All reports, databases, spreadsheets, or equivalent materials regarding current debts/restitution paid to or owed to this department or any facility/agency under its jurisdiction. Please include all available segregable information (excluding individual personally-identifying elements, as necessary and appropriate), including but not limited to the reason for the debt/fee, the amount of the debt, the facility at which the debt was incurred, whether the debt is held by an inmate in custody or released, any available individual data regarding record of prior release, etc.

If further clarification is necessary, a phone call will happily be arranged.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


From: Winder, Michael

May 10, 2016

DEPT MR 25459
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
To Whom It May Concern:

We have received your request for policies and procedures regarding goods, services or any other expenses for which inmates are or may become liable.

The following DOC policies describe the goods, services or other expenses which an inmate may be found responsible/liable for while incarcerated:
1.5.D.4 Inmate Access to Telephones
1.1.B.2 Inmate Accounts and Financial Responsibilities
1.4.E.10 Inmate Medical Co-Payment Fees
1.5.D.3 Inmate Correspondence
1.2.E.1 Inmate Commissary
1.5.A.5 Work Release
1.1.E.3 Offender Access to DOC Records
1.3.C.2 Inmate Disciplinary System
1.3.A.8 Offender Drug Testing, Sanctions and Treatment

All of the policies listed are available on our department website at:

We are attempting to answer your second question in regard to the current debts/restitution paid to or owed to the department. Could you please clarify whether that means only debts/restitution incurred by the offender while incarcerated in our system
and not fines, fees, etc. ordered by the court prior to their incarceration that may be collected while they are in prison?


Michael Winder
South Dakota Department of Corrections

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Winder,

Thanks so much for the list of policies! Regarding the other part of my request, I'm wondering whether there would be separate data sets for the debts incurred in prison and the amount of total debt a prisoner might have while inside, including that which was court-ordered?

Thanks again!

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Winder,

My apologies for the misaddressed salutation on my last message; I'm embarrassed that I caused such a slip! Please do let me know if there's further clarification that I can provide.

Have a lovely evening,

From: Winder, Michael

This has been sent multiple times.