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Plans Are To Improve Tribal Jail

Current plans are to renovate the tribal jail in Poplar in order to create a safer facility.

Charles Headdress, tribal vice chairman, said the hope is that federal funds can be used for the project. He feels it would be a lengthy process and no set dollar amount is yet to be determined.

“It’s going to be a pricey thing,” Headdress said.

Currently, about 20 prisoners are being housed in the Roosevelt County Detention Center and others are transported to as far away as South Dakota.

“The ones that can be let go, for minor offenses, are let go or fined,” Headdress said.

He said the current facility needs to be “harden up.”

“We want to make sure everything is in place so that they can’t throw a chair against something or chisel their way out of it,” Headdress said. “The dinosaur doesn’t work. It wasn’t made to really hold prisoners who decide they want to get out.”

He added there haven’t been a lot of escapes from the facility.

“But one is too many,” Headdress said.

Headdress said the facility was originally built to hold 100 prisoners. That, however, wasn’t realistic because not enough staff can be hired in the area.

“No one seems to want to work,” Headdress said.

He feels the jail could hold 30 prisoners when renovations are complete.

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