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: Violence against Native women is on the rise (10/24)
Morgan Howard: Corporate dividends confict with Tlingit values (10/24)
David Wilkins: Abandon the Doctrine of Discovery in Indian law (10/24)
Navajo Nation candidate Chris Deschene won't halt campaign (10/24)
Tribes receive $1.2M in Sovereignty in Indian Education funds (10/24)
Language preservation a top issue as AFN opens annual meet (10/24)
Rep. Don Young to speak to Alaska Natives amid controversy (10/24)
Think Progress: South Dakota county suppresses Native vote (10/24)
Opinion: Tribes turn their acumen to Internet lending industry (10/24)
Chickasaw Nation signs compact with state for license plates (10/24)
Federal judge won't be removed from Miccosukee Tribe's case (10/24)
Radio: NPS allowed destruction of tribal burial mounds in Iowa (10/24)
BIA announces intent to put Cowlitz Tribe gaming site in trust (10/24)
Feinstein opposes North Fork Rancheria off-reservation casino (10/24)
Salt River Tribe arrests man who left children in casino garage (10/24)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino could affect contributions (10/24)
Opinion: Shinnecock Nation's casino plans remain under cloud (10/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe heads to election season (10/23)
Al Caroll: Recognize tribal sovereignty in new US Constitution (10/23)
Michael Baines: Senate candidate battles Alaska Native rights (10/23)
President Barack Obama urges early voting for Alaska Natives (10/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation woman named president of Girl Scouts board (10/23)
3rd Circuit won't force town to repatriate Jim Thorpe's remains (10/23)
Navajo Nation's top court orders new ballots without candidate (10/23)
Alaska Federation of Natives ready to open annual convention (10/23)
Alaska governor to sign Native languages bill six months later (10/23)
Rep. Don Young blames government 'largesse' for suicide rate (10/23)
Washington player says tattoo represents Cherokee heritage (10/23)
Crow Tribe seeks renewal of Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (10/23)
Native advocates come together to combat domestic violence (10/23)
Agua Caliente Band and DOJ submit briefs in water rights case (10/23)
Former health executive from Chippewa Cree Tribe sentenced (10/23)
Final person sentenced in theft from Blackfeet Nation program (10/23)
Opinion: Tribes exploit loopholes in America's political system (10/23)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe announces plans for new gaming facility (10/23)
Rival leaders of Chukchansi Tribe to meet amid casino closure (10/23)
Navajo Nation challenges lawsuit over death of casino patron (10/23)
Law Article: Judge restricts BIA authority in Class III dispute (10/23)
Column: Election won't end North Fork off-reservation casino (10/23)
Eyapaha Today: Oneida singer follows in mother's footsteps (10/22)
Native Sun News: Candidate seeks investigation into program (10/22)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Lakota people disrespect our language (10/22)
Cedric Sunray: Standing together to fight tribal disenrollment (10/22)
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.