County Officials Seek Solutions To High Native Jail Population

Jul 14, 2015

Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo sits between Deputy State's Attorney Carolyn Olson and Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris. Vargo and Olson are part of the Native American Outreach Subcommittee, a part of a larger committee working toward a grant through the MacArthur Foundation.
Credit Victoria Wicks

The American Indian population in Rapid City is about 12 percent, but Native people account for almost 60 percent of arrests. And because of societal factors such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and unemployment, Native people end up staying in jail when more fortunate people would be released. Tuesday SDPB’s Victoria Wicks sat in on a Native American Outreach meeting of officials in the process of applying for a MacArthur grant to fund solutions.