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Jails in Indian Country, 1998 and 1999

EMBARGOED UNTIL 4:30 P.M. EDT                            BJS
SUNDAY, JULY 9,  2000                           202/307-0784 


     WASHINGTON, D.C.   More than 1,600 American Indians
were incarcerated in Indian country jails at midyear 1999,
the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS),
announced today.  The number was 8 percent higher than the
previous year.
     The data are based on a survey of Indian country
detention facilities, which included 69 jails affiliated
with 53 tribes in 18 states (see attached table). 
Forty-eight facilities are operated by Indian tribes, 20 by
the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and one is
privately run.  
     The tribes in the survey have maintained jurisdiction
over certain misdemeanors committed within Indian territory. 
Tribal authority to imprison offenders is limited to crimes
with sentences of one year or less and a $5,000 maximum
fine.  More serious felony offenses are generally
under the jurisdiction of federal or state authorities. 
However, on many Indian reservations there are no tribal
courts or jails; in those sites, federal or state
authorities maintain all criminal jurisdiction, including
     There were 19,679 Indians in confinement throughout the
United States on  June 30, 1999.  In addition to those held
in Indian Country jails, most were in state or federal
prison (12,858) or county jails (5,200). Overall, federal
and state prison and jail authorities held 797 Indians per
100,000 Indians in the U.S. resident population, compared to
682 incarcerated persons per 100,000 residents in the
general U.S. population.  
     During the one-month period from June 1 through June
30, 1999, the facilities admitted 8,147 persons and
discharged 7,744.  
     Among the adults held on June 30, 1999, 84 percent were
male and 16 percent were female.  There were 267 juveniles
in custody, 20 of whom were being held as adults.
     Deaths among the Indian inmate population dropped from
seven in 1998 to zero in 1999.  Attempted suicides were also
down, from 133 in 1998
to 103 in 1999. 
     Most Indian Country facilities hold fewer than 50
inmates, with 19 holding fewer than 10.  At midyear 1999,
the largest facility, the Tohono O'odham Detention Center in
Arizona, held 98 inmates, with the second largest, the
Sacaton Adult Detention Center, holding 86.  The ten largest
facilities, which housed 40 percent of all inmates in Indian
country, were all located in Arizona.  
     The Navajo Nation has the largest number of jails and
detention centers, two juvenile and six adult facilities. 
Combined, the eight facilities were holding 200 inmates on
June 30, 1999, with the capacity to hold 206 persons.  The
Gila River Indian Community's three facilities had the
largest number of beds (230).  The tribe's three facilities
housed 202 inmates.
     On the most crowded day in June 1999, jails in Indian
country were operating at 108 percent of capacity, down from
115 percent in 1998.  Small facilities reported the highest
occupancy rates.  On their most crowded day in June,
occupancy was 161 percent of capacity in jails designed to
hold fewer than 10 inmates, 155 percent in those rated to
hold 10 to 24 inmates. Fort Berthold Agency in North Dakota,
Pine Ridge Correctional facility in South Dakota, and the
Navajo Department of Corrections-Tuba City in Arizona held
three times the number of inmates the facility was designed
to hold.  Eleven facilities were under a court order or
consent decree in 1999 restricting the maximum number of
offenders held in custody.  
     Most facilities (two-thirds) offered drug or alcohol
treatment programs, a quarter offered educational or
employment programs.  
     Sixty-seven of the 69 Indian facilities reported the
need for staff training, 66 reported needing additional
correctional officers, 60 said they needed to modify space
or acquire new equipment and 59 wanted additional
drug and alcohol treatment programs.
     The report, "Jails in Indian Country, 1998 and 1999"
(NCJ-173410), was written by BJS statistician Paula M.
Ditton.  Single copies  may be obtained from the BJS
fax-on-demand system by dialing 301/519-5550, listening to
the complete menu and selecting document number 208.  Or
call the BJS clearinghouse at 1-800-732-3277.  Fax orders
for mail delivery to 410/492-4358.  After 4:30 p.m. July 9
the full report may be obtained from the BJS Internet site
     Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained
from the Office of Justice Programs Website at:
                       # # # 

State, tribal affiliation, and location of jails in Indian country
                                                Location of                                                  Location of
State and tribal affiliation                    facility                 State and tribal affiliation        facility
Alaska                                                                   New Mexico
Metlakatla Indian Community                     Metlakatla               Jicarilla Apache Tribe              Dulce
                                                                         Laguna Pueblo                       Laguna
Arizona                                                                  Mescalero Apache Tribe              Mescalero
Colorado River Indian Tribes                    Parker                   Navajo Nation                       Crownpoint
Fort Mohave Indian Tribe                        Mohave Valley            Navajo Nation                       Shiprock
Gila River Indian Community                     Sacaton                  Navajo Nation                       Tohatchi
Hopi Tribe                                      Keams Canyon             Ramah Navajo                        Ramah
Hualapai, Havasupai, Prescott                   Springs                  Taos Pueblo                         Taos
   and Tonto Apache                                                      Zuni Pueblo                         Zuni
Navajo Nation                                   Window Rock
Navajo Nation                                   Tuba City                North Dakota
Navajo Nation                                   Kayenta                  Three Affilliated Tribes of Fort    New Town
Navajo Nation                                   Chinle                      Berthold Reservation
Pascua Yaqui Tribe                              Tucson                   Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe      Belcourt
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community       Scottsdale               Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe             Fort Totten
San Carols Apache Tribe                         San Carlos               Standing Rock Sioux Tribe           Fort Yates
Supai Tribe                                     Supai
Tohono O'odham Nation                           Sells                    Oklahoma
White Mountain Apache Tribe                     Whiteriver               Sac and Fox Nation                  Stroud
Colorado                                                                 BIA Law Enforcement Services        Salem
Southern Ute Tribe                              Ignacio                  Warm Springs Confederated Tribes    Warm Springs
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe                          Towaoc
                                                                         South Dakota
Idaho                                                                    Crow Creek Sioux Tribe              Fort Thompson
Shoshone-Bannock Tribe                          Fort Hall                Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe          Eagle Butte
                                                                         Lower Brule Sioux Tribe             Lower Brule
Minnesota                                                                Oglala Sioux Tribe                  Kyle
Red Lake Chippewa Tribe                         Red Lake                 Oglala Sioux Tribe                  Pine Ridge
                                                                         Rosebud Sioux Tribe                 Rosebud
Mississippi                                                              Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe       Agency Village
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians             Philadelphia
Montana                                                                  Northern Ute Tribe                  Ft. Duchesne
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes                    Poplar
Blackfeet Tribe                                 Browning                 Washington
Chippewa-Cree Tribe                             Box Elder                Confederated Tribes of Yakama       Toppenish
Confederated Tribes of Salish and Kootenai      Pablo                    Makah Indian Tribe                  Neah Bay
Crow Tribe                                      Crow Agency              Puyallup Tribe                      Tacoma
Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribe               Harlem                   Quinault Tribe                      Taholah
Northern Cheyenne Tribe                         Lame Deer                Spokane Tribe                       Wellpinit
Nebraska                                                                 Wisconsin
Omaha Tribe                                     Macy                     Menominee Indian Tribe              Keshena
Nevada                                                                   Wyoming
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes                          Owyhee                   Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribe         Fort Washakle

BJS00160 (K)
After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
Date Published: July 9, 2000