Welding Education at Mike Durfee State Prison

Too often, inmates released from prison experience difficulty transitioning back into society because they cannot find steady, gainful employment. Without meaningful employment and positive integration back into society, many of these individuals find themselves back in prison shortly thereafter.

Purpose of the Welding education program at Mike Curfee State Prison: Address the shortage of welders in South Dakota while providing tangible skills to inmates to reduce recidivism.


  1. Train more welders in Springfield.
  2. Reduce recidivism of program participants.
  3. Provide inmates with steady, gainful employment upon release.

By providing inmates with vocational training prior to leaving prison, the South Dakota Corrections system can ensure these individuals develop marketable skills they need to find employment and become successful, productive members of society.

With the abundance of welding jobs in our state, the welding trade is a promising vocation for such individuals. Currently, the low-medium security prison at Springfield offers inmates the opportunity to become certified welders. South Dakota WINS will support the expansion of this welding program and continue to explore innovative new means of helping those who have stumbled in their past, successfully transition back into society.