South Dakota Training School

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South Dakota Training School
Established 1886
Opened 1888
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Plankinton, SD
Alternate Names
  • South Dakota Reform School
  • Plankinton Reform School
  • Aurora Plains Academy


  • 1886-Territorial Legislature establishes reform school for juveniles in Plankinton.
  • 1887-First building erected on Plankinton campus.
  • 1888-First youth arrives at Plankinton campus.
  • 1907-Legislature changes name to the State Training School
  • 1994-Idea of juvenile prison for dangerous minors comes from consultant hired at the Legislature's request
  • 1995-After former Gov. Bill Janklow is elected to third term, Legislature approves $3.5 million for juvenile prison at State Training School
  • July 1998-Girls' boot camp moved to State Training School. By now, juvenile prison is built and most beds at the reform school are filled with high-risk boys. A program for the most serious female offenders also opened.
  • Spring 1999-Some former workers and inmates said Training School had hired untrained staff who sometimes smelled of alcohol and abused the juveniles. State officials called the charges fabrications by disgruntled former employees
  • July 21, 1999-Days after her arrival, 14-year-old Gina Score of Canton dies of overheating after a mandatory 2.7-mile run in the girls' boot camp.
  • Aug. 20, 1999-Janklow fires Raelene Layne of Woonsocket and Tamara Wagaman of Mitchell, staff members along on the run, after a report on Score's death is released
  • December 2001-Citing a drop in the number of juveniles from 140 when Score died to 51, Janklow sends remaining children at training school to other programs in and out of state and closes Plankinton campus.
  • 2004-Cornell Companies of Houston operated a juvenile facility on the campus briefly, but the company's deal with the state fell apart over a rate dispute.
  • Sept. 22, 2006-Clinicare, of West Allis, Wis., chosen to provide residential treatment for the state's troubled youth on the Plankinton campus.
  • Jan. 1, 2007-Aurora Plains Academy opens to help up to 66 male and female juveniles with mental health, substance abuse and sexual behavior issues. At the time, there are 130 youth in out-of-state facilities.[1]