GREAT FALLS — A northern Montana tribe returned control of a jail to the Bureau of Indian Affairs after tribal officials say they couldn’t afford to operate it.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that the federal agency took control of the detention facility on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation last week after tribal officials reached out to the bureau for assistance.
Fort Belknap Tribal President Mark Azure says the move wasn’t something either party wanted, but there wasn’t enough funding for the facility.
The 11 permanent and temporary jail employees lost their jobs and were replaced with federal personnel.
The bureau had provided detention services for the Fort Belknap community until the late 1990s, and it’s currently conducting an evaluation on the needs of the 10-bed facility.
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