Navajo officials set to break ground on new jail

Tuba City, Arizona (AP) September 2010

Navajo officials are holding a groundbreaking ceremony this week for a public safety complex in Tuba City.

The district court, law enforcement offices and a detention facility are part of the 144,000 square-foot complex. Construction won’t start until November.

Police and corrections officials on the reservation have long struggled with tiny, run-down jails that mean few, if any, of the people booked serve their full sentences.

The former Tuba City jail was condemned after receiving multiple environmental citations and later demolished. A new jail means officers won’t have to transport inmates 155 miles away to another lockup.

The complex is being built using stimulus funds and a loan the tribe approved earlier this year.