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Indian jail to house city inmates

BULLHEAD CITY Ariz. – An Arizona city will now have the option of sending inmates to a jail on Indian lands.

Bullhead City offenders could be sent to a detention facility on the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe reservation after city council members unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the tribe Oct. 5.

The deal will save Bullhead City taxpayers $21 per day per prisoner and $15 on the initial booking fee if it diverts its inmates from the local county jail to the one on the reservation, said Bullhead City Manger Toby Cotter.

The tribe also unanimously approved the deal, Cotter said.

Cotter stressed that inmates would still be processed in the local county jail for arraignment and other court proceedings but the city will now have the option to save the money by having inmates serve out their sentences at the reservation jail.

Bullhead City, which is located three miles away from the gambling city of Laughlin, Nev., expects to need 9,000 incarceration days arising from crimes committed in the city during the next 12 months and could incarcerate four to six inmates at a time at the reservation jail depending on availability, Cotter said.

“It’s something we see as a great partnership,” Cotter said. “They have some capacity and we have the need.”