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Indian country jails report released

WASHINGTON – A new report, released in December by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that the number of inmates locked up in Indian country jails declined by 1.3 percent at midyear 2008, falling to 2,135.

At the same time, the report said the number of inmates admitted into Indian country jails in June 2008 was about six times the size of the average daily population.

Other findings: Inmates held for aggravated and simple assault increased at midyear 2008; the number of jails in Indian country has increased from 68 in 2004 to 82 in 2008; domestic violence declined; and 36 of the 82 correctional facilities were operating above their rated capacity on their most crowded day in June 2008.

Matthew L.M. Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at Michigan State University, said the report was a much more positive one on jails than previous ones about the jails operated by the BIA.

The complete report is available online.