The percentage of females held in tribal jails increased from 23 percent of all inmates at midyear 2010 to a peak of 27 percent at midyear 2016, before declining to 25 percent at midyear 2018, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
Inmates held for domestic violence (15 percent) and aggravated or simple assault (9 percent) accounted for nearly a quarter of the tribal jail population at midyear 2018,
Inmates held for rape or sexual assault (1 percent) and other violent offenses (4 percent) accounted for an additional 5 percent.
Some 69 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) released from state prisons in 2012 across 34 states, were re-arrested within three years, and 79 percent were arrested within five years.
Among AIANs released from state prisons in 2012 in the 21 states with available data on persons returned to prison, 43 percent had a parole or probation violation or an arrest that led to a new prison sentence within 3 years, while 51 percent returned to prison within 5 years with a new conviction.
These findings were among the most concerning in the technical report produced by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.
The Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) of 2010 requires the BJS to establish and implement a tribal crime data collection system, consult with Indian tribes to establish and implement this data collection system, and report annually to Congress on the data
collected and analyzed in accordance with the act.
From 2012 to 2018, the number of AIANs arrested by a federal law enforcement agency increased 30 percent, while the number of AIANs convicted in federal courts
increased 8 percent.
The ratio of convictions-to-arrests decreased due to the relatively greater rise in federal arrests than convictions during this period, says the report.
In 2010, there were 334 federally and state-recognized American Indian reservations in the United States, with an estimated 4.8 million persons living on these reservations or in Alaska Native villages.
In fiscal year 2018, federal law enforcement agencies arrested 3,231 tribal and nontribal American Indians and Alaska Natives, U.S. district courts sentenced 1,469, and federal prisons admitted 1,822 and released 1,895.
At midyear 2018, an estimated 2,870 inmates were held in 84 Indian country jails, up 1.8 percent from the 2,820 inmates held in 84 facilities at midyear 2017.
According to the report, most persons held in Indian country jails were convicted inmates, and fewer than half were awaiting court action on a current charge.
The distribution of inmates by conviction status has changed over time. After peaking in 2009 at 69 percent, the percentage of convicted inmates declined to 55 percent at midyear 2018.
Approximately 30 percent of inmates were held for a violent offense each year from midyears 2010 to 2018. At midyear 2018, 29 percent of Indian country jail inmates were held for a violent offense, an increase from 27 percent at midyear 2017.
Indian Country jail authorities reported 16 deaths in custody since midyear 2010. Two deaths were reported during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2018.
About 74 percent, or 62 of 84 facilities, reported data on attempted suicides in both 2017 and 2018. These facilities reported a combined 26 attempted suicides in 2018, more than double the 12 attempted suicides in 2017.
The full report can be read here.