In the State of South Dakota, there are no laws against private citizens accessing any kind of criminal records. The fact is that there are no laws that allow it either. In the absence of any law regulating the accessing and distribution of such sensible information, the Division of Criminal Investigation, under the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General, manages all information relative to criminal records, procuring them to other law enforcement agencies and private citizens. They also protect those records deemed as sealed from the public eye.
The Division of Criminal Investigation is the place to go in order to perform criminal background checks. In order to access criminal records, the requester must acquire a state applicant fingerprint card from the Division of Criminal Investigation. This card is free, and it can be obtained by calling at the Division's number (605) 773 3331. The card must be filled out, including at least the name, gender, date of birth and social security number of the requester. Then, the applicant must go to any local law enforcement agency, such as a police station, to have their fingerprints printed on the card. Some law enforcement agencies will have a fee for the fingerprinting process, while other agencies will do it for free. It is also important to fill out properly the authorization and release form, provided at the Division of Criminal Investigation's website. At this point, the fingerprint card, the authorization and release form and a check covering the $24 fee must be sent to the Division of Criminal Investigation. The Division will then process the request, returning the pertinent record in the shortest time possible. If the subject of the request has no criminal record, a letter will be sent informing that there are no results in the criminal database. The search does not include juvenile offences, minor traffic violations or sealed records. Learn more about the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation at their website.
Due to conflicting laws, the South Dakota Department of Corrections doesn't have an online easy access inmate search engine. Some of South Dakota's laws state that inmate records should be published to help the victims and the concerned citizens, while other laws protect the inmate's privacy in this regard. In accordance to the Department of Corrections' website, a search engine is being prepared and it should be running anytime soon. Until then, the website offers the telephone number of the Department of Corrections' Central Record Office ((605) 367 5190 or (605) 367 5140) for information on the inmates. Calling this number, it's possible to know if a specific citizen of South Dakota is actually under the custody of the Department of Corrections. If the subject of the inquiry is held in a county jail, the Central Record Office will not be able to provide any information about them. Visit the website of the South Dakota Department of Corrections for more information.
Since 2006, the State of South Dakota has laws that enable the presence of an online sex offender registry. That registry is maintained and managed by the Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Criminal Investigation. The website of the registry features a powerful search engine that allows the user to search by name, alias, address, neighborhood or ZIP code. The search engine has a very interesting map search option, where the user can navigate a map of any county of South Dakota and locate the sex offenders in it. The results of the search are accurate and complete reports, with picture and a criminal history of the subject. The sex offender registry can be accessed through the website of the Office of the Attorney General.