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and inmates,” he said. “I walk the (Springfield) grounds each day, and I stop in the dining hall at mealtime because I know that’s where the inmates can be found at the same time.” Dooley also talks with staff about daily developments and their concerns. MDSP lost a dozen employees when the Yankton Federal Prison Camp opened in the 1980s, but many MDSP employees have remained on staff for many years. “People asked if we were concerned about escapes across the Missouri River when the (Chief Standing Bear Memorial) bridge opened (in the 1990s),” the warden said. “That hasn’t been a problem. In fact, the bridge opened up a whole labor pool in Nebraska, and many of our staff members come from there.” CHOPPER JOHNSON Riverwalk Historic Career Dooley has spent his entire career in law enforcement. He’s continuing a family tradition, as his father worked at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. The younger Dooley started on a different path that took him out of the state for a time. The Sioux Falls native entered the Marine Corps directly out of high school. He served in the Marines for six years. The experience would later benefit his career. “When I was in the Marines, that (time) was when I gained the most experience working with people,’ he said. “You came up with solutions for immediate problems and stressful situations.” After leaving the military, he served as a deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County from 19771983. The work in one of the nation’s largest cities again exposed him to dangerous situations. “Los Angeles was very exciting, but it was a tough job with a lot of stress,” he said. “At the same time, I loved South Dakota and wanted to come back.” He returned to South Dakota in 1983, working as a correctional officer at the state penitentiary. “My father worked at the state pen for 33 years,” he said. “He retired when I started working there, so we didn’t work together.” Dooley’s career — and life — changed greatly when then-Warden Herm Solem summoned him to his office. “It was very unusual to have the warden call you into his office,” Dooley said. During the visit, the young correctional officer learned he would become part of a historic event. In early 1984, the Legislature approved closing the University of South DakotaSpringfield and turning it into a prison, and he was tabbed as part of the transition. “The warden told me they were … turning (the former college) into a boot camp. I would become the chief drill instructor at Springfield,” Dooley said. “I didn’t even know where Springfield was at the time. I also didn’t know that, in a few weeks, they went from the adult boot camp plans to becoming a co-ed prison.” A three-person administrative team — Lynne DeLano, Daryl Slykhuis, and Dooley — was charged with converting the campus into a fully-staffed and secure prison within a few months. They drew up policy, hired staff and implemented security measures. DeLano became warden/superintendent at Springfield. She had been serving as warden for the female prison in Yankton, housed on the Human Services Center grounds. “Daryl Slykhuis was a captain and my boss,” Dooley said. “I came in as a lieutenant.” DeLano, Slykhuis and Dooley wrote the policies and procedures for the new prison. They brought their experiences from other correctional units, including the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls. In addition, they drew on the American Correctional Association manual as a guide for policies and procedures. “We posted the orders for running the prison,” Dooley said. “A few (of those orders) are still in place after 34 years, but policies and procedures are updated continually. The more efficient ways of doing things is to keep changing the policies (as needed).” In the span of a few months, the new prison was ready to take inmates. Staff members were hired and trained for their roles. Newly-installed security measures included the construction of guard towers and the installation of fence. The one fence with bale wire has since been replaced by two fences with razor wire and a sensor. “At Springfield, there were 27 of us who worked together to prepare things for the opening of the prison,” he said. “In December 1984, we had the 26 female inmates at Yankton who were moved to Springfield and did some cleaning work. In January 1985, male inmates arrived at Springfield, with the first group consisting of 60 prisoners.” The co-ed facility brought with it a number of challenges, Dooley said. vBEHIND BARS continued on page 18 IT! RICK B Shelter #3 Riverside Park For The Person Who Has Everything... Honor your friends and family or the memory of a loved one with a personalized brick paver. 3 Line Engraved Brick Pavers $100 each Forms available on www.riverboatdays.com or on facebook – The Chopper Johnson Foundation. Send form & payment to: Chopper Johnson Foundation c/o Ross VanDerhule 512 Chalkstone Rd. Yankton, SD 57078 Questions Call 605-660-7016 HISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017v17

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