Shiprock, Window Rock jails to partially close

WINDOW ROCK

Navajo Times|Arlyssa Becenti

Navajo Chief of Police Phillip Francisco shows how easy it is to take a piece off of the Window Rock Police Station.

The Navajo Nation’s Shiprock and Window Rock detention facilities will be partially closed because of environmental and structural concerns, Department of Corrections Director Delores Greyeyes told the Law and Order Committee Monday.

After Indian Heath Services inspected the facilities they told Greyeyes what she has known all along: that the buildings they are occupying are not safe for clients, her staff, visitors, or herself.

“These buildings were built in the late 1950s, close to 1960, and so much of them have really deteriorated, “said Greyeyes.

Greyeyes, who has been in charge of the corrections department for the past 16 years, said based on a consent decree, which was set into place in 1992, the facilities have continuously failed inspection.

She described exhaust issues in the kitchen, metal beds with sharp edges, bad plumbing, inoperable HVAC systems, cracks in the walls, leaky roofs, discolored carpet, and an overall unpleasant odor that is hard to ignore. The smell has Greyeyes leaving her office multiple times a day just to get fresh air.

“Every report, there was a finding,” said Greyeyes. “I haven’t had one report that does not have findings and it really is structural issues. We have never had a good inspection.”


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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.