Fury In Indian Country - Jeanne Bedell's Videos - Native Radio Theater
By Kathy Helms
WINDOW ROCK - At midyear 2007, an estimated 4 in 10 inmates in Indian Country jails were confined for a violent offense, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics announced Friday.
Domestic violence accounted for the largest group of violent offenders - 20 percent - followed by simple or aggravated assault, 13 percent, and rape or sexual assault, 2 percent. Six percent of Indian Country jail inmates were being held for unspecified violent offenses.
The percentage of Indian Country jail inmates held for drug offenses was unchanged from 2004 to 2007 at 7 percent each year, while DWI/DUI offenses dropped from 14 percent in 2004 to 8 percent in 2007.
At midyear 2007, a total of 27,674 American Indians were in prison. More than half, or 13,956, were in state prison and about 1 in 10, or 2,955 inmates, were in federal prison. Of the remaining 10,763 inmates, only 2,163 were confined in Indian Country jails, while 8,600 were in local jails. Some of those in local jails may have been housed there under contracts with tribal, city, or county governments.
The Indian Country jail population has increased an estimated 24 percent since 2004 when the Bureau’s last Survey of Jails in Indian Country was conducted.
Navajo Department of Corrections in Window Rock reported 41 inmates in custody in June 2004, compared to 99 at midyear 2007 for a 141 percent increase. Window Rock’s peak population in June 2007 was reported to be 154, or 112 inmates over capacity.
Four of the Navajo Nation’s detention centers out of 18 jails in Indian Country operated above 150 percent capacity on their peak day in June 2007. Window Rock ranked No. 4, at 367 percent, led by Pine Ridge, S.D., adult detention at 575 percent, San Juan Pueblo Police Department in New Mexico at 500 percent, and Tohono ‘�odham adult detention in Arizona at 391 percent.
Kayenta’s holding facility was at 300 percent, Crownpoint at 221 percent, and Chinle, 175 percent. The Pueblo of Acoma�s holding facility was at 165 percent on its peak day.
“The information in this survey is useful ‘as a glimpse’ of the situation that Indian Country is facing in relation to the jail facilities. It’s a glimpse into the dire situation of jail facilities,” said Hope MacDonald-LoneTree, a member of the Public Safety Committee and chair of the oversight committee in 2007.
“On the Navajo Nation, on any given day we do not know if one facility or more will be shut down due to plumbing problems, heating or cooling problems, or any other issues that would present a health hazard to both inmate and staff.”
Though the report states that that since 2004, available bed space for inmates held in Indian country jails grew faster than growth in the inmate population, that doesn’t hold true for Navajo, according to MacDonald-LoneTree.
“While new jails may have been constructed in Indian Country, the dilapidated facilities on Navajo were shut down completely or temporarily for repairs and maintenance. We are spending an excessive amount of funds to transport prisoners from facility to facility. We are short on staff and the wear and tear on vehicles burdens our limited budget.
“We need significant funding to construct new jail facilities so that we can move beyond the consent decree that limits the inmate population on Navajo.”
Inmates were held an average of 4.5 days, up from four days during the same period in 2004. The average length of stay for inmates in facilities rated to hold 50 or more was 9.4 days. Inmates held in jails rated to hold 10 to 24 people experienced the shortest average length of stay, at 2.1 days.
“Despite the slow flow of construction funds, I am encouraged that the level of concern is growing and should yield new and increased funding in the new administration. We will continue to advocate on behalf of the thousands of victims of crime and the concurrent need for rehabilitation and treatment,” MacDonald-LoneTree said.
PSC Chair Rex Lee Jim and the full committee have made numerous trips to Washington to lobby for increased funding. Jim also sponsored legislation to hire a lobbyist to work on behalf of Navajo.
Though American Indians and Alaskan Natives account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. resident population, they make up 1 percent of inmates in jail or prison. Tribal rights to sentence offenders are limited to one year imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both.
For every 100,000 American Indians, 942 were incarcerated. The rate of incarceration was about 24 percent higher than the overall national rate of 761 persons for any other race per 100,000 residents. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of American Indians confined in jails and prisons nationwide grew on average by about 4.6 percent annually.
From Jeanne Bedell-Mashkikinabinais
I have two music video's out. If you all have the time, please go to: http://www.vidiac.com/ press on music videos Mytwo video's are: "I Believe in You" and "Free" my account number is A49feead or just simply jiiniikwe
Please score them and leave a comment and tell me what you think. The first video (A Memorial Ride to Remember) was meant to have that old time effect..I know its kind of jumpy, but I hope you will enjoy them.
I Believe in You was footage from the Big Foot Ride or Memorial Ride each year that takes place here on Pine Ridge. The riders ride from Standing Rock at Bull Head (Sitting Bulls home) to Wounded Knee each year at around Christmas time.
I am also volunteering my services for a concert meant to help with this ride this year at Little Wound School I think on December 19th. See ya there!
NAPT's NATIVE RADIO THEATER KICKS OFF THIRD SEASON WITH ALL-NATIVE VARIETY SHOW RECORDED LIVE
LINCOLN, Neb.-Native American Public Telecommunication's Native Radio Theater project is kicking off its third season of audio plays with a story of young love and a new variety show that includes music, poetry, comedy and more.
"This is Native entertainment and talent at its finest," NAPT Executive Director Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux) said of the show being billed as A Prairie Home Companion for Native Americans. "This is the first time NAPT has done a variety show."
The 90-minute variety show features playwrights Jim Northrup (Ojibwe) and Rhiana Yazzie (Navajo), who each take a slice of Indian life and bring it to the stage. Northrup gives the game show world a spin with Shinob Jeopardy. Yazzie creates a spoof on reporting on the reservation in the Really, Real News from Indian Country.
In addition to the variety show, a play by Robert Vestal (Cherokee) is included in this year's mix of radio theater. Vestal re-creates an Eastern Band of Cherokee story of young love with The Bullfrog Lover. Vestal's re-creation, which was taken from the recordings by anthropologist James Mooney in the late 1800s, is performed by Eastern Band of Cherokee high school students.
Vestal's play is performed live in front of an audience in North Carolina, and the variety show is recorded live in Minneapolis.
Other acts and performers in the variety show include:
-Poetry by Ardie Medina and Marcie Rendon
-Traditional storytelling by Faith Bad Moccasin
-A drum group led by John Oakgrove
The Native Radio Theater project was created in 2005 with the Los Angeles-based Autry National Center's program, Native Voices at the Autry, to promote greater awareness of the range of talent in the Native American theater community. The goal of Native Voices at the Autry is to develop and produce new works for stage by Native American playwrights.
Native Radio Theater is the only Native American programming of its kind produced for public radio in the country, and is heard through tribal, public and community radio stations throughout the nation. The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The variety show, which can be broken up in an hour or half-hour segments, is being distributed to tribal and public radio stations by Native Voice One starting this month for Native American Heritage Month, and will be available on the satellite system from now until March 9, 2009.
The third season of Native Radio Theater also will be aired on AIROS.org, NAPT's online Native radio network, from November through February. Check AIROS.org for air dates and times. Encore shows of Native Radio Theater's 2006 and 2007 seasons are also set to air on AIROS.org during this time.
Past plays produced include Super Indian, written by recording artist, actor and writer Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), and Melba's Medicine, written by Rose-Yvonne Colletta (Lipan Mescalero Apache).
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