MinnPost: Red Lake facility sits unused after five years
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The segment about the Red Lake juvenile detention facility begins around 51:31 into the webcast.

"Five years ago, construction was completed on a juvenile detention facility built on Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota. It has never housed a single young person, and remains empty to this day.

“We have a facility that was built under that policy that has remained empty for five years because there’s no money to operate it at all,” Sen. Al Franken said in an Indian Affairs Committee hearing today, adding afterward: “There’s actually a lawsuit involving this. They were promised this, and now they’re trying to get the money to run it.”

Franken said commitment to operational funding was detailed by Kevin Gover, then assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the Clinton administration, in a letter to tribal leaders of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe. Franken held the letter aloft as he demanded answers about why the promised funding never arrived.

The letter reads in part: “The BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] will continue to be responsible for requesting funds for staffing and physical facility operations and maintenance requirements for new facilities constructed through the [Department of Justice] grants funds, as well as existing BIA-owned detention facilities within our budget request.”

A 2000 Interior Department memo includes a similar line: “The Office of Law Enforcement Services [of the BIA] will be responsible for requesting funds for staffing and program operations in these facilities.”"

Get the Story:
Feds built juvenile detention facility on Red Lake Reservation -- and it's never been used (MinnPost 2/25)

Committee Notice:
OVERSIGHT HEARING to Examine Tribal Programs and Initiatives Proposed in the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget (February 25, 2010)

Related Stories:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds budget hearing (2/25)