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If you have any questions of the Sheriff's Office, contact us at: ccso@claysheriff.org

Questions of interest to others will be posted on this page in future updates.


Who has to register as a sex offender?

SDCL 22-24B-1 identifies sex crimes, and those convicted must register as a sex offender. The crimes include: Rape (22-22-1), Felony Sexual Contact with a Minor (22-22-7), Sexual Contact with a Person Incapable of Consenting (22-22-7.2), Incest, Possessing, Manufacturing, or Distributing Child Pornography (22-24A-3), Sale of Child Pornography (22-42A-1), Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (22-22-24.3), Kidnapping, if the victim is a minor (22-19-1), Promotion of Prostitution of a Minor (22-23-2(2)), Criminal Pedophilia (22-22-30.1), Felony Indecent Exposure (22-24-1), Felony Indecent Exposure (22-24-1.3) Indecent Exposure (22-24-1.2), Solicitation of a Minor (22-24A.5), Bestiality (22-22-42).

Also included are any attempts to commit the above crimes, any crime committed in a place other than this state which would constitute a sex crime in this state, any federal crime or court martial that would constitute a sex crime in this state, any crime committed in another state if that state also requires that anyone convicted of that crime register as a sex offender in that state. Also included would be any sex acts with a minor committed by 1) a jail employee (when the victim is a detainee) (22-22-7.6), or a psychotherapist (22-22-8) & (22-22-29).

Are sex offenders restricted from living in certain areas?

SDCL 22-24B-23 restricts the registration of sex offenders within community safety zones.  This safe zones are defined in SDCL 22-24B-22 as the area that lies within five hundred feet from the facilities and grounds of any school, public park, public playground, or public pool, including the grounds and facilities itself. 

However, SDCL 22-24B-23 list the exceptions to the restriction of registration if; the person is incarcerated in a jail or prison or other correctional placement which is located within the community safe zone, the person is placed in a health care facility licensed pursuant to (SDCL) chapter 34-12 or certified under Title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act as amended to December 31, 2001 or receiving services from a community service provider accredited or certified with the Department of Human Services which is located in a community safe zone, the person was under the age of eighteen at the time of the offense and the offender was not tried and convicted of the offense as an adult,  the person established the residence prior to July 1, 2006, the school, public park, public pool, or public playground was built or established subsequent to the person's establishing residence at their location, or a circuit court has entered an order pursuant to SDCL 22-24B-28 exempting the offender from the provisions of SDCL 22-24B-22 to 22-24B-28.

Can a sex offender be in a community safe zone, such as the public pool?

SDCL 22-24B-24 states that no person who is required to register as a sex offender as defined in this chapter may "loiter" within a community safety zone. Loitering is defined in SDCL 22-24B-22 as "to remain for a period of time and under circumstances that a reasonable person would determine is for the primary purpose of observing or contacting minors".

When and how often does a sex offender need to register?

SDCL 22-24B-2 states that the sex offender shall register within five days of coming into any county to reside, temporarily domicile, attend school, attend postsecondary education classes, or work.

SDCL 22-24B-6 states that any person who is registered as required by 22-24B-2 and who is employed, carries on a vocation, or attends postsecondary classes at an institution of higher education, institution of higher learning, or technical institute in this state shall, within five days of any commencement and within five days of termination of such enrollment or employment or change in employer, report to the chief of police or county sheriff where the institution is located and complete a registration update form.

SDCL 22-24B-7 requires that any person who is subject to the provisions of 22-24B-2 shall reregister every six months in the same manner as may be provided by law for initial registration. Such person shall reregister during the calendar month during which the registrant was born and six months following the person's birth month.

Who is keeping track of the sex offenders in Clay County?

SDCL 22-24B-2 requires sex offenders to register with the chief of police of the municipality in which the sex offender resides, domiciles, attends school, attends classes, or works, ...with the sheriff of the county.   For consistency, the Clay County Sheriff's Office registers all sex offenders in Clay County with the cooperation and assistance of the Vermillion Police Department.  SDCL 22-24B-8.1 states that the chief of police in the municipality in which the sex offender resides, or ...the sheriff of the county, shall annually confirm that the address listed on the sex offender registry matches the residence of each registered sex offender.

Also, SDCL 22-24B-5 states the Division of Criminal Investigation shall mail a non-forwardable verification form at least once annually to the last reported address of each person registered under SDCL 22-24B-2. The person shall return the verification form to the Division of Criminal Investigation within ten days after receipt of any such form. The verification form shall be signed by the person required to register and shall state that the person still resides at the address last reported to the Division of Criminal Investigation.

How do I find out where a sex offender is living in Clay County?

The Clay County Sheriff's Office keeps a record of all sex offenders registered in Clay County on their web site at www.claysheriff.org. Also, the State of South Dakota locates all sex offenders on their web site at www.sor.sd.gov.   Also, a list of all sex offenders registered in Clay County is kept at the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

How do I get a concealed weapons permit?

Stop into the Sheriff's Office and fill out a simple application establishing you are a Clay County resident and give some information such as address and date of birth. We will do a background check which will establish whether or not you meet the criteria for a permit which is specified in SDCL 23-7-7.1. Those criteria are as follows:

23-7-7.1. Requirements for issuance of temporary permit -- Time -- Appeal of denial. A temporary permit to carry a concealed pistol shall be issued within five days of application to a person if the applicant:

  1. Is eighteen years of age or older;
  2. Has never pled guilty to, nolo contendere to, or been convicted of a felony or a crime of violence;
  3. Is not habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
  4. Has no history of violence;
  5. Has not been found in the previous ten years to be a "danger to others" or a "danger to self" as defined in § 27A-1-1 or is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent;
  6. Has been a resident of the county or municipality where the application is being made for at least thirty days;
  7. Has had no violations of chapter 23-7, 22-14, or 22-42 constituting a felony or misdemeanor in the five years preceding the date of application or is not currently charged under indictment or information for such an offense;
  8. Is a citizen of the United States; and
  9. Is not a fugitive from justice. 

A person denied a permit may appeal to the circuit court pursuant to chapter 1-26.  

What do I need to know to visit an inmate in the Clay County Jail?

The Clay County Sheriff knows it is important for the inmates and their families to maintain personal contact during the period of incarceration.  Therefore, the Clay County Jail is equipped with a visitation booth for a secure visit where the visitor is physically separated from the inmates in the jail.  For privileged visits such as clergy, attorneys, and family members under special conditions, a secure visitation room inside the jail is available. 

Visiting Hours:  Visits will be allowed from 2:00 PM through 4:00 PM on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, including holidays.

The visitor must, on the day of the visit, call or otherwise contact the jail at (605)677-7117 to set an appointed time for the visit during regularly scheduled visiting hours.  Appointments shall be on a first come, first served basis as space provides.  Each inmate shall be allowed one 30 minute block of visitation time on each visiting day and may divide that time among as many visitors as he chooses. 

If any visitors are late for their appointed time, they shall forfeit that portion of the visitation time for which they are late, up to and including the entire 30 minute visitation block.  This is to ensure other inmates receive the visitation time they have scheduled.

Each inmate may receive a maximum of two visitors at a time, including infants and children.  Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to visit an inmate.  Any exceptions to this must be approved in advance by the sheriff.  All visitors must present a photo ID at the time of the visit.

A written copy of these instructions is available at the Clay County Jail.

What can I bring to an inmate at the Clay County Jail?
  • Personal hygiene items, (non-aerosol deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)  Hygiene items are provided to any inmate who does not wish to have his own brought to the jail.
  • Money, preferably coins
  • Underwear and socks
  • Bible

All items must be delivered to the jailer and are subject to search prior to delivery to the inmate.  All hygiene items must be in new packaging and in transparent containers.  For example:  baby shampoo is transparent, some shampoos have non-transparent bottles or contents. 

Other items must be approved by the jailer or the Sheriff.


Is society getting so bad that we need a cop in our schools to keep our kids safe?

The role of the SRO is to follow the “Triad Concept” and liaison with school officials to help prevent not only criminal activity, but poor decision making that may lead to criminal behavior.  An SRO in the Vermillion and Wakonda Schools is not a reflection of increasing criminal behavior.  The SRO is an asset, recognized by the school district, to bridge communication between schools and law enforcement.


Does the SRO carry a gun in the schools?

An SRO is a fully certified law enforcement officer whose “beat” is the school campus.  A cop on the street would be expected to be carrying a gun.  So should the SRO.  If a criminal incident occurred within the school that placed students and staff in danger of losing their life, would parents expect the SRO to intervene?  If so, the SRO must possess the tools to resolve potentially tragic issues, as would all other law enforcement officers.


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