The federal government has known about inhumane conditions in tribal detention centers for nearly 2 decades. One watchdog even called the facilities a “national disgrace.”
But we found the system is still leading to inmate deaths. trib.al/ywGZJbk
17 years after a federal probe revealed widespread deaths, inmate abuse and attempted suicides in many of the more than 70 detention centers across the U.S., our investigation found continued neglect, disrepair and inaction.
Brandy Skunkcap was part of a string of deaths at one facility.
A guard decided to lock her up while intoxicated, failing to note her jaundice and complaints of illness. When she was found unresponsive after an apparent seizure — guards failed to initiate immediate first aid.
An on-site medical expert may have saved Skunkcap’s life — but they're not required at detention centers.
Some advocates have railed against that, citing treaty obligations in which tribes gave up their land in exchange for health, safety and security from the U.S. government.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has promised reforms but even after 3 federal probes, the problems remain.
One Arizona facility has half the full-time employees it says it needs. Officers double as janitors and cooks.
"I need the manpower," said Lt. Ophelia Begay "We need funds."
Click here to read our full story.
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