Yakama Nation Opens New Tribal Jail
The Yakama Nation Indian Tribe hopes to turn around the lives of inmates with its new jail.
Tribal members held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new $14-million facility on Fort Road in Toppenish today. The correctional center will house up to 70 adult and juvenile tribal inmates convicted of misdemeanors.
Tribal leaders hope to use the center to give inmates a second chance, by offering education and other opportunities.
"We're looking more towards rehabilitation, as you tour the facility you'll notice at the back of the facility we have sweat lodges back there, or sweat houses, we hope to not only help cure the individual physically but help them heal spiritually," says Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin.
The money to build the jail comes from President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package. 22 inmates will move in tomorrow.