Kevin Abourezk: Tribes in Nebraska plan two detention facilities
"Keely Bassette understands the need for an adult jail on the Winnebago Reservation.

With her brother locked in a Council Bluffs, Iowa, jail nearly 100 miles from her South Sioux City home, traveling to see him can take up much of a day.

Her experiences have motivated Bassette to complete her work: Planning an adult detention center on her northeast Nebraska reservation.

"Yes, they did something to be in that facility," she said of her tribe's incarcerated members. "But they're still human beings. I'd rather see them heal than continue to hurt."

As part of a rare cooperative effort, Nebraska's four tribes are Santee Sioux and Ponca.

Those tribes also are together planning a juvenile detention center on the Omaha Reservation just south of Winnebago that would be accessible to all four tribes.

The U.S. Department of Justice is funding planning for both projects -- $140,000 for the Winnebago jail and $150,000 for the Omaha detention center. Once planning is finished, the two tribes would need to find funding to build the detention centers."

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Kevin Abourezk: Nebraska tribes planning two detention centers (Lincoln Journal Star 9/1)