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Report: Pine Ridge's jail overcrowded

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News Dickinson,North Dakota 58602
The Dickinson Press
Report: Pine Ridge's jail overcrowded
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Offenders Facility in Pine Ridge operated at 432 percent of its rated capacity in June 2011, making it the most overcrowded American Indian correctional facility in the country.


The facility, which has a rated capacity of 34 inmates, housed 147 inmates during its June 2011 peak reporting period.

That's one of the findings from the Bureau of Justice report "Jails in Indian Country 2011."

The report also shows the Pine Ridge facility had the highest June 2010 to June 2011 percentage increase in prisoners among 80 reporting American Indian jails. The number of inmates at the Pine Ridge facility increased 42 from one reporting period to the next.

Nationwide, 78,700 Indians and Alaska Natives were under correctional supervision at midyear in 2011, about 200 less than in 2010. About 49,000 were on probation and parole and 29,700 were in prison or jail.

The report shows that 2,239 inmates were in Indian country jails during the June 2011 peak reporting period -- a number up 5.7 percent from the 2,119 jailed during the June 2010 peak period.

The Pine Ridge facility topped the list of four South Dakota tribal jails with overcrowded conditions during their peak day in June 2011.

Other South Dakota jails exceeding the 150 percent capacity level were:

- The Medicine Root Detention Center, in Kyle, southeast of Rapid City, which operated at 408 percent of its rated capacity. The facility, which is rated for 24 prisoners, had 98 inmates.

- The Cheyenne River Sioux Adult Detention Center, in Eagle Butte, which operated at 168 percent of capacity. It has a capacity of 40 inmates but had 67.

- The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Police Department and Adult Detention Center, in Rosebud, operated at 158 percent of capacity. It has a capacity of 65 but had 103 inmates.

The Bureau of Justice report also notes that the Oglala Pine Ridge facility was among 14 Indian jails that held 52 percent of all Native American inmates during the June 2011 reporting period.

Statistics also show that:

- Three in 10 inmates in Indian jails in June 2011 were there due to a violent offense.

- The average stay was five days.

- Eight in 10 jails screened inmates for infectious diseases such as TB, HIV and hepatitis B and C.