Main menu

You are here

Inmate Handbook

Revised:  3/6/12

Brown County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Mark Milbrandt

22 Court Street · Suite 1· Aberdeen, SD 57402-0369

Phone (605) 626-7100 · FAX (605) 626-4015


Each inmate upon entry into general population shall receive one of each of the following items, when available:

– Towel                                                     – Set of jail clothes     

– Toilet paper, if none is in the cell        – Plastic drinking cup

– Pair of slippers                                       – Mattress cover

– Pillow cover                                           – Blanket

– Pillow                                                     – Toothpaste

– Toothbrush                                            – Comb or pick

– Deodorant                                              – Paper and envelope

– Plastic bin for storage                           – Pencil

If the inmate is not sentenced at the time he/she goes into general population, some of the above items may not be given until lock-up.

Each inmate may only have a specific number of the following items in their cell.  The following list is a list of items that are allowed in the cell blocks:  

  1. Personal photographs with no backing.  Polaroid photos are NOT accepted.  Pictures may not be sexually explicit. (Limit 5 pictures)
  2. Legal papers
  3. Prescription eyeglasses and hearing aids (2 each)
  4. Short socks/sport socks (3 pair)(must be new/unopened package)
  5. Under shorts (3 pair) (must be new/unopened package)
  6. Medical alert bracelets
  7. Dentures
  8. Wireless bras (2)
  9. Emergency inhalers
  10. Colored pencils (1 box)
  11. Drawing tablets (2)
  12. Cards (1 deck)
  13. Dice (5 dice)
  14. Paperback books (5)
  15. Newspapers (Must be sent through the mail from the publisher)(3)
  16. Magazines (Must be sent through the mail from the publisher) (1)
  17. Legal pads (2)

No commissary items from other institutions will be allowed into the cellblock.

The Brown County Sheriff, jail staff, reserves the right to limit and remove any or all property that any inmate accumulates in the cell block and staff has the right to limit or remove any items from the cell block.  The list of approved items is subject to change at any time without any notice.  Excess property will be placed in the inmate’s locker.  If an inmate has an abundance of property in their locker they, will be asked to have somebody pick up the property or pay to have it mailed. 



If an inmate is released from the Brown County Jail and any of their property is left behind it will be destroyed or donated to a charitable organization after 30 days.


All inmate monies (money they bring in as well as incoming money) will be entered into the Swanson/Cobra Banker program.  The Swanson/Cobra Banker program is a money management system that the Brown County Jail utilizes to keep track of inmate’s money. 

Inmates with work/school release will be allowed to keep $20 in their property bag.  The Brown County Sheriff’s Office/Jail is NOT responsible for lost or stolen money.  It is strongly recommended that if an inmate who gets out of jail for work/school wants money they keep it someplace other than the jail.

If an inmate needs money from their account (to take to work, school or to pay bills) they must fill out a Cash-out request.  Inmates can get Cash-out requests from any jail staff. 


Inmates will not be allowed to wear jewelry other than medical alert bracelets and wedding bands in the cells. Barrettes and headbands are prohibited. Hair ties with out metal are allowed.




Each inmate is provided with a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and deodorant.  Showers with hot and cold running water are located in all of the cell blocks.  In order to maintain a healthy environment all inmates are required to shower daily.

Razors can be checked out to inmates by the jail staff at 0600 hours and must be turned back in to jail staff by 0700 hours.

The sharing of personal hygiene materials such as toothbrush, razor, comb, etc., is PROHIBITED.

Other personal hygiene items, such as tampons are available upon request.  All items may be limited.


Haircuts are available at the Brown County Jail.  The jail administrator will choose a licensed barber who will come in and cut inmates hair.  Haircuts are scheduled when there are between three and four inmates who want a haircut. 

If an inmate would like a haircut they are to request it in writing.  There is a $13.00 charge for a haircut; the inmates are responsible for paying for the haircut.  The money must be at the jail before the haircuts will be scheduled. 


If an inmate does not have money to pay for a haircut and they are going to have a jury trial, Brown County will pay for the haircut. However, if the inmate receives any money while they are in jail, he/she will be expected to repay the county.


Inmates may wear street clothes to jury trials only. Inmates may have two sets of street clothes brought in from the outside. All clothing is to be kept in the inmate’s locker.


No physical contact, written/verbal communications or hand gestures will be permitted between inmates and other persons while in court, this goes for both Magistrate and Circuit Court appearances.  The only persons the inmate may communicate with while in court are Court officials and attorneys.  When in court all inmates are expected to behave as ladies and gentlemen; any disrespectful behavior may result in disciplinary action.


Daily wake up call will be at 5 A.M. Shaving must be done by 7 A.M., at which time all razors will be collected. Lock up is at 11 P.M.


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) holds a weekly meeting at the Brown County Jail.  Any inmate who has been sentenced for an alcohol related offense may attend AA.  Inmates are not allowed to attend any outside/off site AA meetings. The jail does have a structured chemical dependency program which is held at the jail. Inmates may attend aftercare that has been approved by the jail operations deputy.



The Brown County Jail provides inmates with the opportunity to attend religious services provided by an ordained minister within the jail facility. Female inmates go on a designated night and males go on a separate designated night.  In order to maintain security the jail staff will restrict services in whatever way necessary.  Personal clergy may visit upon request.  If personal clergy is going to visit please ask them to phone ahead to make an appointment. 


In order to be used as a trustee the inmate must be sentenced.  If an inmate is interested in being a trustee they must put a request in writing and give the request to the jail staff.  There are a limited number of jobs available for trustees.  Jail staff will decide who is used as a jail trustee. Some things the jailors take into consideration when making the decision include: the inmate’s physical appearance – they must be neat and clean, the inmate must be willing to work, how they get along with others and how well they follow instructions.

If a trustee has fines, the fines will be worked off at the rate of $5.15 per hour and $60.00 a day. After all of the inmate’s fines are worked off they can work off their jail time, the inmate will receive a day for a day on their sentence. Meaning when the inmate works for 8 hours their time will be reduced by one day; the time will start when the inmate starts working. 

Restitution and attorney fees can NOT be worked off.

The trustee AT NO TIME will enter a cellblock unless told to do so by a jailor. 

Trustee work is a privilege and may be taken away at any time if the inmate does not work, does not work well with others, is rude/disrespectful, interacts with inmates of the opposite sex, goes into a restricted area of the jail or violates any of the rules in the Trustee Agreement.  Also jail staff has the right to take away any or all trustee hours if the trustee has violated any jail policy.


The courts will sentence a person to jail and will specify if such a person is eligible for work and/or school release.

If the inmate is eligible for work or school release they may only be out of jail for a total of 12 hours per day; this includes travel time.  Also the inmate can only work 6 days per week.  No exceptions!

All work release inmates must pay $15.00 for each day of work release.  Payment must be made in advance before they are allowed to get out for work.

A mandatory urinalysis test (UA) will be done on all work releasers before they are allowed to go out for work. If the UA is positive, work release will be revoked for five days.  A person who goes out for work release is subject to random UAs at their own expense.  The cost for the UA is $10.00. 

If somebody violates any of the work release rules their work release can and will be revoked for up to five days. 

Bringing food, drink, tobacco products, matches or lighters into the jail is prohibited unless you are on work release or doing community service.  If any prohibited items are brought into the jail they will be confiscated and destroyed.


Visitation is on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Visits are limited to 30 minutes.  Each inmate may have two visits from different people each visitation day.  If a visitor has two family members who they want to visit with during the same ½ hour the visits will be split into two 15-minute sessions.

Before an inmate can have a visit they must fill out a Visitation Form listing the names of three people who they want to visit with.  Inmates receive the Visitation Form in the bin they receive after being booked in; if they need a form they can ask any jail staff for one.  All visitors must be 18 years of age or accompanied by an adult. 

Visitors must set up visitation by calling Monday through Friday.  When visitors arrive they must put their belongings (which includes: purses, hats, cell phones etc.) in a locker.  Also no food or drinks are allowed.  The lockers are located in the lobby of the jail; visitors can get a token, to use the locker, from any jail staff. 

Smoking during visitation is prohibited. Visitors who appear to have used drugs or alcohol will not be admitted.  Jail staff has the right to administer a preliminary breath test (PBT) to any visitor.

Obscene or disorderly behavior will not be tolerated.  All visitors must show picture identification (proof of relation). Visitors will not be allowed to visit if they are involved in pending case, if they have a warrant or if they are on probation or parole.  All visitors are subject to a search.

Visits may be terminated at any time upon discretion of the jail staff.

Inmates with children under the age of 10 are allowed one contact visit per month with their children.  This is a contact visit with the CHILDREN ONLY.  Contact visits with children must be requested and set up in advance.  No exceptions!


Any inmate who feels they need medical attention is to ask jail staff for a MEDICAL REQUEST FORM. The request form needs to be filled out by the inmate and returned to the jail staff. The jail staff will forward the request form to the jail nurse. 

Non-prescription medical items such as aspirin, cold tablets and antihistamines are available upon request. If the inmate needs more than one dose per day they may be asked to fill out a medical request form.   

If it is determined that an inmate needs to see a physician and/or if they need a prescription refilled it will be the inmate’s responsibility to pay for the charge. 

If an inmate does not have any insurance, does not have any money and can not afford to see a physician or pay for any necessary prescription(s) Brown County will pay for the charge, however, any unpaid balances will be turned over to the auditor’s office and a lien will be placed against them. 

Any charges for medication will be billed to the inmate through the Swanson/Cobra Banker system.  If the inmate has any money in their account it will automatically deduct 25%.  If the inmate has an outstanding debt (owe for medication), 25% will be deducted when money is added to their account until the debt is paid off.  If the inmate is released and they have a debt balance the remaining balance will be turned over to the auditor’s office and a lien will be placed against them. 


Inmates will have a cup of water and place the capsule or tablet on the tip of their tongue and swallow sufficient liquid. The inmate will then open their mouth wide and move their tongue to allow the jailor to check to ensure that the capsule(s) or tablet(s) have been swallowed. Inmates will show both hands, (palm up, fingers spread), as well as inside of the cup. Hiding medication or attempting to hide medicines from the jail staff will result in disciplinary action. Bringing in personal (over the counter) medications is prohibited.


All inmates will receive three meals a day. All uneaten food must be disposed of at the end of the meal; inmates may not save food.                                 


Smoking or the use of any tobacco products is not allowed anywhere in the Brown County Jail.


Blankets, mattress covers, pillow covers, pillows, sheets and mattresses will not be allowed on the floor and will not be allowed outside of the cell. The use of towels or pillow covers will not be used to cover the head, hair or to be hung on the cell bars or from a top bunk. These items are to remain on the cell bunk when not being used for their intended use.


Cell doors may not be prevented from normal closing or have locking mechanisms blocked or altered.

Inmates may hang their towels on the front of the cell door to dry between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  At any time if an inmate is told by jail staff to remove the towels the inmate must comply; failure to do so may result in the loss of privileges.


Attorneys may visit client inmates at any reasonable time. If the attorney comes during mealtime they may have to wait until inmates have been fed. These visits need not be scheduled. Inmates will be searched at the end of each attorney visit.


Inmates may place telephone calls between 8:00 AM and 11:00 PM.

All calls to local attorneys are free.  Any other calls are collect calls that are charged to the person accepting the call from the inmate. The phones in the cellblocks are the only phones for use by inmates.

Inmates may purchase pre-paid calling cards from the jail commissary at $10 per card. Each $10 phone card has 20 minutes.  Phone cards must be ordered by 8:00 AM, on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays; with the exception of holidays. 

All communications in this facility, except for Attorney/Client communications, may be monitored.


The Brown County Jail will take messages for inmates for emergencies only. Staff will confirm the emergency before giving the message to the inmate.


Incoming attorney or legal mail will only be opened and inspected in the presence of the inmate to whom that mail is addressed.


The use of the TV is a privilege and not a right. Failure to comply with any jail regulation can result in immediate loss of this privilege. The TV privilege can be restricted upon notice by the Sheriff or his designee. The TV will be shut off during lock down, and when inmates can not agree on a channel.


Inmates may request FM radio for their cellblock.  Some one must donate a radio to the Brown County Jail.  The Brown County Jail will not pay for a radio.  This jail facility is not able to cater to each listener’s individual preference so the music will reflect the majority preference. If the cellblock has lost its TV privileges, then they have also lost their radio privilege.   The FM radio will be shut off at lock down.


Inmates may subscribe to daily and weekly newspapers. Inmates may not give newspapers to another cellblock. Each inmate is allowed a maximum of three newspapers in their cell.  Inmates may not store up newspapers or use newspapers to make TV channel changers.  All subscriptions must be paid in advance and sent through the mail directly from the publishing company.


Jail staff will do the laundry change over.  All inmates will have laundry changed as follows:

  • Pillow cases, mattress covers, sheets changed once a week
  • towels and uniforms twice a week
  • blankets once a month


There is no restriction on the amount of incoming or outgoing mail for inmates. However, the Brown County Jail will only pay postage for two personal letters per week.

The Brown County Jail will pay postage for all letters to Judges and Court Officers, including Clerks, Defense Attorneys, Prosecutors, Parole and Probation Officers that are directly involved in the inmate’s case.

Postage stamps and flaps from envelopes can be removed from incoming mail. Greeting cards and other letters with any stickiness will be kept in the inmate’s property locker. All outgoing mail must have the following return address on the outside of the envelope, regardless of who pays the postage:



22 Court St. Suite 1

ABERDEEN, SD 57401-4230

If the inmate does not place their name on the envelope, the letter will not be mailed; it will be thrown away.

If an inmate would like to receive a package they must get prior approval from the Jail Administrator or his designee.  Packages may not contain any commissary items or contraband; they may contain legal material and the contents must be marked clearly on the package.  All packages will be opened and searched by jail staff.  Inmates may not join any book or CD clubs while in jail.

If a package is received for an inmate in the mail, it will be returned to the sender.  If the package does not have a return address the inmate will have fourteen (14) days to have somebody pick it up.  If it is still at the jail after fourteen (14) days it will be disposed of or donated to a charitable organization. 


  1. Clean bars and ledges.
  2. Clean shelf on wall.
  3. Clean door bars on both sides.
  4. Clean tabletop and bench.
  5. Clean your mattress and bunk.
  6. Make your bed.
  7. Clean the walls.
  8. Clean the mirror, sink and stool.
  9. Clean all corners, under bunk, and under tables.
  10. Sweep and mop the floor.

If cleaning is not done, privileges such as, but not limited to, TV, library, and commissary can be withheld.  All inmates will partake in the cleaning of their sections.


Each inmate will be issued a storage box. All storage boxes are to be kept on the floor, under the bottom bunk of the cell in which the inmate sleeps. Storage boxes are not to be out of the inmate’s cell or on the tables. Use of any other inmate’s storage box or taking items out of another inmate’s storage box is prohibited. All inmates’ personal items are to be kept in the storage box, such as legal papers, personal letters, books, pencils, and writing paper. There will be no stacking of items on top of the storage box. Each inmate is responsible for his own storage box. All items allowed/issued must fit in the box.  Board games are to be stored under the bunks and not on the tables.



If there is a rule infraction the reporting corrections officer will serve notice of the violation to the inmate who violated the rule.

If the inmate would like to dispute the correctional officer’s disciplinary action they must write the Jail Operation Deputy explaining the situation and requesting a hearing.  See the APPEALS, GRIEVANCES, COMPLAINTS, AND SPECIAL REQUESTS section of the handbook for further instructions.

The Jail Operation Deputy will hold a hearing to determine if the inmate is guilty or innocent and decide what appropriate disciplinary action to take if any.  Any or all of the restrictions in each action may be appropriately applied for disciplinary reasons.

Jail staff may lockdown inmates in his/her cell for up to 72 hours without a disciplinary hearing for just cause.




Jail staff may give a verbal warning to an inmate who is in violation of a jail rule or policy. Ignoring a verbal warning may result in further disciplinary action. A verbal warning may be considered a form of probation.


  1. Lock up in cell except for attorney calls, daily showers, your cell cleanup, and one-hour daily exercise.
  2. No visits except for attorney and clergy. Visits may be limited to 15 minutes.
  3. No commissary purchases except personal hygiene items, legal paper, pencil and envelopes.
  4. No phone calls except to an attorney, which may be limited.
  5. No library except law library.
  6. No books or newspapers. US Mail will not be restricted.
  7. Inmates will eat in locked cell, no dayroom meals.


  1. Lock up in ISOLATION cell except for daily shower, your cell cleanup and one hour daily exercise.
  2. Inmates will eat in locked cell, no dayroom meals.
  3. No visits except for attorney or clergy. Visits may be limited to 15 minutes.
  4. No commissary purchases except personal hygiene items, legal paper, pencil, and envelopes.
  5. Previously purchased items not listed above are prohibited and will be stored in the inmate’s locker.
  6. No phone calls except attorney calls, which may be limited.
  7. No weight room or basketball recreation.
  8. No library except law library.
  9. No books or newspapers. US Mail will not be restricted.


All of above types of communication should be in writing and addressed to the Sheriff or his designee. If an inmate wants to file a grievance, put that request in writing.  Briefly state the facts and be sure the writing is legible.


  1. Homicide.
  2. Any act defined as misdemeanor or felony by South Dakota Law.
  3. Arson-setting a fire or attempting to set a fire.
  4. Assault/Fighting.
  5. Engaging in sexual activity or encouraging others to do the same, which includes kissing, touching, etc.
  6. Bribery of jail staff or giving money or offering money or property.    
  7. Possession of contraband. Contraband is defined as anything not allowed in the jail or anything that is being used for anything other than its intended use.
  8. Any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
  9. Any instrument or devices for use in making, attempting, or aiding an escape.
  10. Possessing currency of any type or amount.
  11. Possession of drugs, intoxicating substances, or drug paraphernalia.
  12. Escape or attempted escape.
  13. When one leaves without authorization.
  14. Climbing any part of any fence or wall, whether inside or outside the facility.
  15. Planning, attempting, or assisting in an escape.
  16. Intoxication or using intoxicants, drugs, or controlled substances.
  17. Riot or rebellion, taking hostages.
  18. Threatening to harm another person, their family, property, or jail staff.
  19. Interfering with a staff member.
  20. Delaying count or hiding from jail staff.
  21. Resisting jail officers by force or threat, disobeying a direct order by staff.
  22. Disrespect of staff, abusive language towards staff.
  23. Misuse and/or destruction of county property:
  24. Tampering with fire detection and fire fighting equipment.
  25. Tampering with locks or locking devices, covering or damaging security cameras.
  26. Extortion, blackmail and offering protections.
  27. Theft of and/or possession of another person’s property.
  28. Adulteration of any food or drink.
  29. Misuse of authorized medication, hiding or attempting to hide medication from jail staff.
  30. Gambling for food, drink and money.
  31. Filing or giving false information, refusing to assist law enforcement. Discouraging others from cooperating with law enforcement.
  32. Refusal to provide urine, blood or breathe sample.
  33. Forgery or altering official documents.
  34. Aiding suicide.
  35. Tampering with video cameras, sound monitors or lighting equipment.
  36. Smuggling or attempting to smuggle prohibited items into the jail.
  37. Plugging toilets or showers with food, clothing, plastic, wood, metal or any other foreign objects.
  38. Removing the TV from the TV stand.
  39. Repeated class 1 misconducts.


  1. Smoking anywhere in the Brown County Jail or Courthouse.
  2. Possession of more than one mattress or pillow, or hoarding of bedding items or commissary.
  3. Misuse of phone privileges.
  4. Failure to clean cell, cellblock or make bed properly.
  5. Refusal to lock up.
  6. Self-mutilation/tattooing.
  7. Refusal to submit personal property or cell search.
  8. Covering lighting equipment, vents, windows, doors. Sticking objects to ceilings or walls.  This includes hanging clothing or bedding from the cell bars or from a top bunk.
  9. Failure to be fully clothed outside of cellblocks, or wearing unauthorized clothing.
  10. Littering, spitting or throwing objects on the floor of cell block or catwalks.
  11. Failure to shower daily. Urinating, defecating or spitting anywhere, other than in the facilities provided.
  12. Possession of unauthorized items. Passing or receiving items without staff authorization.
  13. Failure to dispose of food from trays and failure to return sporks, bowls or food trays.
  14. Storage or hoarding of food items.
  15. Taking or attempting to take extra meal servings or drinks.
  16. Giving money to another inmate.
  17. Loitering or being in an unauthorized area.
  18. Disobedience of furlough, work/school release, job search, trustee rules, or special program regulations.
  19. Body punching, horseplay, pillow fights, etc.
  20. Violation of any disciplinary action.
  21. Possession of damaged or altered jail property.
  22. Refusal to obey medical or dental instructions.
  23. Disobedience or any posted regulation.
  24. Not terminating visits upon notification, or violation of any visitation rules.
  25. Creating a disturbance.
  26. Blocking or trying to open/shut any cell doors.
  27. Any act determined to be prohibited.
  28. Possession of non-regulation comb or hair picks.
  29. Damage to any law books.
  30. Hanging of towels when not authorized.
  31. Repeated class 2 misconduct.

Inmates may lose recreation, all entertainment privileges such as TV, radio, games, books and any free time for the first 72 hours of lock-down in their cells.


The following items are issued: comb/hair pick – toothpaste – toothbrush – drinking cup – pencil – paper – envelope – deodorant.

  • Alterations or breaking any items is prohibited.
  • Worn out or empty items must be turned in to jail staff before receiving new ones.
  • Phone Cards will be ordered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only excluding holidays.


Additional commissary items may be ordered each Tuesday. Commissary order forms will be handed out Monday evenings and will be picked up Tuesday morning by 7:00AM; with the exception of holidays.  If the order form is not handed in by 7:00AM Tuesday morning the order will not be placed.

To order commissary inmates must have money in their Swanson/Cobra Banker account by the time the orders are placed on Tuesday mornings. 

When an inmate places an order (fills out a commissary sheet) it automatically authorizes the Brown County Sheriff’s Office/Jail to charge their personal funds account (Swanson/Cobra Banker).  All items ordered will be charged sales tax. 

After the order is placed a receipt will be printed and distributed to each inmate.  It is the inmate’s responsibility to check the receipt to ensure that the order was entered correctly.  If there is an error on the order they need to notify jail staff right away so the correction can be made.  If the error is not noticed until the order is received no corrections/adjustments will be made. 

Orders will be delivered after they are received and as long as there is adequate staffing to pass it out.  When the inmate receives their order they must go through the order with jail staff and ensure that all of the products are accounted for.  If an inmate receives a wrong item (it was ordered correct just not sent correctly) the wrong item will be collected and the correct item will be ordered. 

If an inmate is released before they receive their order they have 3 days to claim it or have somebody claim it for them.  If the order is not claimed within 3 days it will be disposed of by the Sheriff or his designee.   

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office/Jail is not responsible for lost or stolen items and all of the items that are ordered must fit in the bins that are provided.  Commissary is a privilege. 


If an inmate is released without receiving all of their property it will be disposed of or donated to a charitable organization after 5 days.  With the exception of commissary orders which will be disposed of after 3 days.