indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Dakota Access resumes push to complete final portion of pipeline (12/6)
Native Sun News Today: Lone Indian Republican wins in Montana (12/6)
Lakota Country Times: New rule curbs waste of tribal resources (12/6)
Clara Caufield: Indian Country in good hands with young leaders (12/6)
Non-Indian gaming firm fighting Wilton Rancheria casino project (12/6)
Chukchansi Tribe casino dispute leads to lawsuits in federal court (12/6)
Indian Country cheers historic decision on Dakota Access Pipeline (12/5)
Tribes and Dakota Access headed back to court for hearing in D.C. (12/5)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp again parts with Indian Country on #NoDAPL (12/5)
Dave Archambault: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe thanks many allies (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to defy history (12/5)
Democracy Now: Thousands of veterans deploy to Standing Rock (12/5)
Dana Lone Hill: Lakota prophecy warns of our water turning black (12/5)
James Giago Davies: Finding the real enemy in the #NoDAPL fight (12/5)
Senate committee ready for hearing on Cobell buy-back program (12/5)
Bureau of Indian Affairs extends comment period on probate rule (12/5)
Native American Farming and Ranching panel gets new members (12/5)
Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California take effect (12/5)
Lakota Country Times: 'Tanka Bar' company recognized as leader (12/5)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne leaders inaugurated (12/5)
Harlan McKosato: Don't believe everything you read on Facebook (12/5)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Why election was dangerous for Indian people (12/5)
Indian Republicans associated with Trump seek trust land changes (12/5)
Quinault Nation prepares for journey to Standing Rock encampment (12/2)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois prophecies warn of grave dangers (12/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Media gets it wrong on Dakota Access frontlines (12/2)
Bronson Koenig: What I found during my journey to Standing Rock (12/2)
Timothy Egan: Fake cowboys cheered while the real Indians suffer (12/2)
Lakota Country Times: Laced marijuana finds its way to Pine Ridge (12/2)
Native Sun News Today: Owner of Wounded Knee site lowers price (12/2)
David Ganje: An opportunity for tribes to clean up their homelands (12/2)
Mary Annette Pember: Tribal member arrested for string of arsons (12/2)
Tiffany Midge: The women are here and we have a message for you (12/2)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe calls for safety as veterans head to camp (12/1)
North Dakota sheriff scrubs Facebook of incriminating information (12/1)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp considers role in Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Daniel Brown: Ho-Chunk Nation celebrates a new day in Wisconsin (12/1)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL kitchen in need of more supplies (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe summons allies (12/1)
Vi Waln: Sacred fire burns at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota (12/1)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Veterans at Standing Rock for the good fight (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Duane Big Crow relishes role in coaching (12/1)
Clara Caufield: Community at Northern Cheyenne stays connected (12/1)
Steven Newcomb: A message to the Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Alaska Native designer brings subsistence fashion to new audience (12/1)
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.