SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The April murder of a correctional officer during an escape attempt at the South Dakota State penitentiary is prompting officials to increase the facility’s security.
Twelve procedural changes are being made to the facility’s procedures after officials solicited opinions from the government, corrections department and staff members at the penitentiary.
Prison officials said staff at the South Dakota State Penitentiary followed every procedure correctly when Rodney Berget and Eric Robert attempted to escape and killed Correctional Officer Ronald Johnson in the process. They attributed the murder to inmates being out of their housing unit that day performing their assigned job duties.
The warden said only minor changes are being made to the way inmates are moved around the facility. However, more doors will be secured in the area where the correctional officer was killed, all inmates will be required to enter and exit through one specific door and an additional correctional officer will be hired for that building.
Additional security cameras and extra razor wire has been installed on the perimeter fences, while all staff members are now required to carry a radio and a body alarm.
Even though prison officials say staff properly followed procedure during the escape attempt, they have instituted the measures to diminish the probability of a repeat incident.