Bison on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Photo: Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation

Fort Belknap Tribes return control of detention center to Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Fort Belknap Indian Community has returned control of the detention center on its reservation to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe couldn't afford to keep the facility in Harlem, Montana, up and running, The Great Falls Tribune reported. So the BIA took over last week, the paper said.

"It's not something that I think either side wanted," President Mark Azure told the paper. "There was a lot more that needed to get done but there wasn't enough funding to do it."

Detention facilities have long been an issue on the reservation. The original jail was plagued by substandard and overcrowded conditions.

The federal government built a new detention center at a reported cost of $1.7 million. But before it even opened, the tribe said the BIA didn't have enough funds to operate it.

The original jail was shut down in May 2008 due to high costs, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Read More on the Story:
BIA takes over jail on Fort Belknap Reservation (The Great Falls Tribune September 25, 2017)
Montana tribe relinquishes jail to Bureau of Indian Affairs (The Associated Press September 26, 2017)