U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill currently being debated on the Senate floor that would set aside $25 million from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) existing budget to replace outdated detention facilities on tribal land.
“Many detention facilities on tribal land in South Dakota are dilapidated and unfit to hold detainees,” said Rounds. “Sisseton-Wahpeton’s detention center, for example, was condemned by the Department of Interior 15 years ago and still has not been replaced. Our amendment would allow tribes to replace facilities that are beyond rehabilitation without adding to the national debt.”
“This common-sense amendment solves a critical problem that South Dakota tribes have been dealing with for years now and does so in a fiscally responsible way,” said Thune. “This approach should be one that garners bipartisan support, and my hope is the full Senate will consider our proposal as the debate on the CJS bill continues.”
“On behalf of my tribe, we greatly appreciate Senator Rounds and Senator Thune for introducing this critical amendment to the CJS appropriations bill,” said Dave Flute, Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Chairman. “This bill is desperately needed and will provide the tools and resources to help us obtain funding to fix our facility needs and help us combat the serious and urgent law enforcement problems plaguing our people on the Lake Traverse Reservation.”
The amendment would require OJP to give priority to Indian tribes with 10,000 or more tribal members, which demonstrate readiness and preparedness to begin construction.