Media Contact

Janna Farley

August 3, 2018

ACLU of South Dakota launches billboard campaign to put people before prisons

Message is part of organization’s overall push for smart justice reform

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is launching its first out-of-home advertising campaign, leveraging high-traffic outdoor advertising spaces in Sioux Falls and Rapid City to draw attention to its push for smart justice reform. 

The campaign’s first billboard is already up on North Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls next to a bail bondsman office and across from the county jail. The billboard’s message – “People Not Prisons” – is simple, but intended to be provocative, especially as construction for the $48.3 million expansion of the Minnehaha County Jail beings later this month.

“Mass incarceration devastates communities, tears families apart, costs millions of taxpayer dollars and has failed to make us safer,” said Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota. “Smart justice is a way of addressing criminal justice issues that solves the problems of crime rather than simply punishing people and locking them up. It’s time to put people before prisons.”

The digital billboards will run from Aug. 13 to Nov. 6 in various locations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

While TV, mobile and online have seen increases in blocked or skipped ads, the out-of-home market remains the only advertising medium that cannot be overlooked. Outdoor billboard advertising and digital billboards are proven, effective and cost-effective media allowing organizations like the ACLU to deliver high-impact messages to different audiences in key markets.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, as well as the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for people of South Dakota.