Report on tribal jails now public

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Senator Byron Dorgan recently made available a draft study on the status of Indian country jails, titled "Master Plan for Justice Services in Indian Country."

In February of 2006, the Department of the Interior hired a contractor to conduct a comprehensive study of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and tribal jails, and provide recommendations to correct shortcomings in the jails system. After repeated requests, a draft of the Master Plan was released to the Indian Affairs Committee on June 18.

The draft Master Plan consists of detailed assessments of 38 tribal jails, including facility observations, inspections, interviews with officers and inmates, and photographs. It concludes that the life and safety of officers and inmates are at risk due to the lack of adequate justice facilities and programs in Indian Country, tribal jail facilities are inadequate, and that there are not enough corrections officers to sustain the jails, among other findings.

To view the draft Master Plan, go to


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