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Tribal Jail Under Scrutiny According To BIA Report

Fort Peck Tribal adult and juvenile corrections facilities have been criticized by a Bureau of Indian Affairs report, according to the Billings Gazette, in which untrained corrections officers, incomplete employee background checks and no procedures for inmate deaths were among the findings.

According an investigation by the Gazette, area residents criticized the jail after 25-year-old Anthony “TJ” Friskey died while in custody in January. Other accusations include medical neglect, unwarranted use of force and chronically poor hygiene conditions, as well as dead bugs and vermin found in the kitchen facilities.

Many findings were deficiencies that have gone unaddressed for years and have been repeatedly documented, according to the BIA report.

The report found the Fort Peck facility was non-compliant in 33 mandatory areas. The juvenile facility was deemed non-compliant in 45 areas, including lack of policies for use of force, procedures for reporting medical treatment and procedures for CPR and the administration of first aid. The report states that of 18 employee files reviewed by the agency, 11 individuals lacked mandatory background checks.

According the Gazette, the tribes have until May 1 to provide a written response to the BIA outlining how the deficiencies will be addressed.

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