A Small South Dakota Town is Suddenly the 2nd Most Dangerous in State

Photo of author
Written By Michael Hack

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

Yankton, South Dakota, known for its charm and peacefulness, is facing a surprising shift in its safety profile. Once seen as a tranquil haven, Yankton is now ranked as the 2nd most dangerous town in the state, a significant change from its previous reputation. This unexpected development has left residents and authorities concerned, grappling with the implications of this alarming trend.

Current Crime Rate in Yankton

As of the latest data, Yankton’s crime rate stands at 361, which is 1.4 times higher than the U.S. average. This rate includes various crimes like murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, and arson. Additionally, there has been a 9% increase in the crime rate compared to the previous year, signaling a troubling rise in crime.

Crime Rate Trends Over the Past Decade

The crime rate in Yankton has fluctuated over the past decade for both violent and property crimes:

  • Violent Crimes: In 2015, the violent crime rate was 253.9. It decreased to 199.0 in 2016, increased to 229.8 in 2017, and further rose to 313.3 in 2018. These figures show a fluctuating trend in violent crimes over the years.
  • Property Crimes: The property crime rate was 151.5 in 2003, dropped to 89.1 in 2004, increased to 334.1 in 2005, and continued to vary in the following years. By 2020, property crimes contributed to an overall crime rate of 361.

Measures to Reduce Crime

Yankton is implementing several measures to combat rising crime, as part of the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act:

  • Earned Discharge Credits: Parolees can reduce their sentences through good behavior.
  • Tribal Parole Programs: These programs aim to reduce recidivism by supervising parolees on tribal land.
  • Performance and Outcome Measures: Ongoing tracking and annual reports assess the effectiveness of these measures.
  • Training for Parole Agents and Board Members: Annual training focuses on evidence-based practices and risk assessments.
  • Community Transition Program: A pilot program provides community-based transition beds instead of placing individuals in minimum security units.
  • Victim Information System: This integrates victim information with a statewide notification system.
  • Restitution Collection: The Department of Corrections and the Unified Judicial System work together to collect restitution from offenders.

These initiatives aim to enhance public safety, reduce recidivism, and improve the criminal justice system in Yankton.


Yankton, South Dakota, once known for its peace and quiet, now faces the challenge of increased crime rates. This shift has shocked the community, prompting collective efforts to address and reverse this trend. As Yankton navigates this difficult time, the strength and unity of its residents will be key to restoring the town’s reputation as a safe and welcoming place for all.

This article highlights the unexpected transformation of Yankton from a serene town to one of the most dangerous in the state, emphasizing the urgent need for action and community unity.

Leave a Comment