indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Data shows little change in BIA jail population
Monday, November 8, 2004

The number of inmates at Indian Country detention facilities remained steady over the past year, according to a report released on Sunday.

The statistics showed 2,006 prisoners were housed at reservation jails as of midyear 2002. The figure is only slightly lower than the 2,080 people detained at the facilities the prior year.

In either case, the numbers show the facilities are operating at or above their capacity. Based on historical data, Indian Country jails are running at an average of 126 percent of capacity.

The report, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is the latest indication of the status quo that has long plagued Indian jails. Tribal leaders say they have complained about overcrowded and understaffed facilities for years but not have received enough federal assistance.

That could be changing with heightened focused placed on the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which oversees the jail system. An investigation by the Interior Department's Inspector General turned up widespread problems, including unreported deaths, suicides and poor conditions facing American Indians and Alaska Natives.

"BIA's detention program is riddled with problems and, in our opinion, is a national disgrace with many facilities having conditions comparable to those found in third-world countries," Inspector General Earl E. Devaney wrote in September 2004 report.

Devaney and his staff visited 27 facilities throughout the country to assess the system. They found untrained workers, underfunded jails and a general lack of accountability.

Assistant secretary Dave Anderson set up a task force earlier this year after being made aware of the problems. He said he has scrapped together $6.4 million to address some of the more immediate safety issues.

BIA maintains responsibility for 72 jails but more than half, or 46, are operated under self-determination contracts with tribes. Devaney's review found that contracted jails were more likely to be operated and managed better than those run by the BIA.

But funding problems remain, according to the report. Once the money is released to tribes, "it becomes virtually unaccounted for," the report stated. "BIA could produce little evidence of basic budget planning, budget execution, or budgetary controls."

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) has introduced a bill that he hopes will alleviate part of the problem. Tribes would be able to offer tax-free bonds to investors and use the interest to pay for new jails or make jail improvements.

"It will enable the tribes to raise money from the private sector to get started fixing these jails up without having to wait for Washington, D.C. to act," Baucus said in October

The BJS report released yesterday did not provide a detailed account of the BIA jail population. Those numbers are usually included in a separate report that is typically released every November.

Overall, state and federal authorities held 1,470,045 prisoners as of December 2003, a 2.1 percent increase. When juvenile, local, territorial, military and other types of facilities are included, this figure jumps to 2,212,475 prisoners.

Get the Report:
Prisoners in 2003 (November 2004)

Inspector General Final Jail Report:
Text | PDF

Inspector General Interim Jail Report:
Text | PDF

Department of Justice Jail Reports:
Year 2002 | Year 2001 | Year 2000 | Years 1998-1999

Related Stories:
Tribes could issue tax-free bonds for jails under bill (10/08)
Editorial: Treatment of Indian youth a horror (10/5)
Indian youth cite mistreatment at reservation jail (10/5)
BIA accused of mismanaging detention facilities (10/5)
FBI probes death at Rocky Boy's Reservation jail (10/5)
Editorial: Indian Country jails a national disgrace (10/4)
BIA investigating suicide at Yakama Nation jail (08/06)
Justice bill shifts priorities in Indian Country (8/4)
Jails on Navajo Nation among worst in BIA system (07/08)
Interim Indian Country jail report released (7/2)
Senate panel holds hearing on detention facilities (06/24)
Indian Country jails subject of Senate hearing (06/21)
BIA law enforcement official returns to South Dakota (6/9)
BIA: Law enforcement head offered to be reassigned (06/03)
Top BIA law enforcement official reassigned (6/2)
Funding levels flat in new Interior budget (02/03)
Overcrowding in Indian Country jails the norm (12/02)
Tribes lobbying against 'harmful' appropriations riders (11/10)
Indian Country jails see record growth (09/05)
Indian Country jails see increased numbers (8/13)
Behind Bars: Native incarceration rates increase (7/13)
BIA audit slams Omaha Tribe's police force (5/8)
New study focuses on jails (7/10)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe to issue IDs at tournament (11/25)
James Giago Davies: Polygamy and shunning in Lakota culture (11/25)
Ben Shelly: There's a lot to be thankful for on the Navajo Nation (11/25)
Cara Cowan Watts: Share the blessings of the Cherokee Nation (11/25)
Joe Sexton: BIA's 'ugly' land policies stuck in the 19th century (11/25)
Jenny Durkan: Cop who killed Native man wasn't charged either (11/25)
Oklahoma claims Citizen Potawatomi Nation must collect taxes (11/25)
Divided court won't extend Seneca Nation immunity to business (11/25)
Vice: North Dakota tribe sees $25M a month in energy royalties (11/25)
Members of Lumbee Tribe proud to carry on tradition of service (11/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe donates $10K to local food pantry (11/25)
Slate: Non-Indians were encouraged to move to tribal territory (11/25)
Column: Remains of Dakota man hanged in 1862 kept in home (11/25)
Family members plead guilty to thefts from reservation town (11/25)
Authorities investigate fatal crash involving Bad River officer (11/25)
Editorial: Yakama Nation must disclose plans for clean water (11/25)
Roy Burton: Montana tribe puts its people at risk with gaming (11/25)
Lawmaker asks BIA to wait on Cowlitz Tribe casino acquisition (11/25)
Gaming compacts on agenda for 2015 session in New Mexico (11/25)
Quapaw Tribe faces even more competition for Kansas casino (11/25)
Pala Band wins final approval for online gaming in New Jersey (11/25)
Mashantucket Tribe still thinking about Massachusetts casino (11/25)
Tim Giago: Cornflakes every Sunday at Indian boarding school (11/24)
Charles Trimble: A time to give thanks -- For whatever reason (11/24)
Mark Trahant: Incoming Alaska governor opens doors to tribes (11/24)
Native Sun News: Four from South Dakota win big at rodeo final (11/24)
Suzan Shown Harjo to receive Medal of Freedom at White House (11/24)
Bill John Baker: Take pride in Cherokee Nation accomplishments (11/24)
Bryan Brewer: Tribal communities need better Internet service (11/24)
Harold Monteau: Teach children about our positive tribal values (11/24)
Crystal Willcuts: Keystone XL Pipeline just makes the rich richer (11/24)
PBS: VAWA helps tribes go after non-Indian domestic offenders (11/24)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in shock after shooting leaves 4 dead (11/24)
Complaint against Navajo Nation presidential hopeful dismissed (11/24)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe defends online loan business amid scrutiny (11/24)
Chippewa Cree Tribe swears in chairman more than a year later (11/24)
Florida Supreme Court declines Miccosukee child custody case (11/24)
Three arrested in fatal stabbing at Yankton Sioux tribal housing (11/24)
Mille Lacs Band grows economy with Oklahoma hotel purchase (11/24)
Editorial: BIA fails to resolve Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (11/24)
Former Choctaw Nation employee plans appeal in criminal case (11/24)
Faction of Chukchansi Tribe walks away from casino mediation (11/24)
Tribal casinos cancel Bill Cosby shows as allegations resurface (11/24)
Editorial: Poarch Creeks control their own destiny with gaming (11/24)
Editorial: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (11/24)
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/21)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty in criminal case (11/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.