Oyate News - News For The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Community

SWO to Construct Adult Detention Center


Last updated 4/5/2021 at 10:14pm

Press Release: April 3, 2021

Good news: the SWO has secured $11.5 million dollars to build a new law enforcement facility and Tribal jail.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs condemned the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate's Adult Detention Center in November 2016 and permanently closed its doors in December 2016. Since then, we have been without a Tribal Jail. In 2018, Congress re-established the BIA Public Safety and Justice Construction Program and awarded the SWO with $4.875 million to construct a new law enforcement facility and jail, along with $300,000 for conceptual planning, but we still needed about $6 million to complete the project. The Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations and COVID-19 Relief Act that was just passed included funds to expeditiously complete construction of our Adult Detention Center. In other words, through this Act, Congress directed the BIA to provide us with additional monies to complete construction of the project. Additional budget modifications will be made in 2022 to add required SWO Corrections staff for the jail. Construction on the new 25 Bed Adult Detention Center will begin this summer, with interior work being completed next winter.

Mark Van Norman, a lobbyist who works with the Tribe, has been invited to present these new developments to Tribal Council next Wednesday, April 7. Wopida tanka (big thanks) to Mark and also SWO Police Chief Gary Gaikowski who have worked through several Tribal leadership administrations to help secure funding for this project.

Also of note: South Dakota Senators Thune and Rounds and South Dakota Congressman Johnson voted against the COVID-19 Relief Act that provided this funding for us.

Chairman Delbert Hopkins Jr.


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