Editorial: Navajo Nation jail crisis affects all
"The Navajo Nation is facing a serious problem; one that most communities have faced time and again, and struggled through.

Despite having a population around 250,000 people on the Nation, only 80 jail beds are available to house criminals apprehended on the 27,000-square-mile reservation. It's that low number of beds that has many on the Nation nervous.

Last year, Navajo Nation police made roughly 39,000 misdemeanor arrests, but an estimated 36,000 prisoners were forced to be released early. Those accused of domestic violence, drunken driving and other offenses were set free because there was simply no place to put them.

These statistics illustrate a great need on the Nation, where numbers show that crime knows no boundaries β€” whether state, county or National. As is, it appears that many of those who commit a crime, will be let go with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

While this is not just a problem the Navajo Nation faces alone β€” many other reservations are also lobbying Congress β€” perhaps Farmington and other border towns could explore what they could do to help protect the victims of violence on the Nation.

It is clear, however, a lack of jails on the reservation affects us all."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Community solution needed for community problem (The Farmington Daily Times 5/18)

Senate Indian Affairs Committee:
OVERSIGHT HEARING on law enforcement in Indian Country (May 17, 2007)

Inspector General Final Jail Report:
Text | PDF

Inspector General Interim Jail Report:
Text | PDF

Department of Justice Jail Reports:
Year 2002 | Year 2001 | Year 2000 | Years 1998-1999

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