Navajo Nation committee calls for nurses in tribal jails

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A committee of Navajo Nation lawmakers says it has voted to ask federal officials to assign medical staff to jails on the sprawling reservation that covers parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

In a statement, the Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order Committee said Monday that it wants to ask the Indian Health Service to assign nurses to the facilities, which lawmakers say do not have resources to provide health care to inmates in house.

Federal figures show there are some 80 tribal jails nationwide that hold an estimated 2,500 inmates.

The Bureau of Indians Affairs manages about a quarter of them. Tribes have federal contracts to operate the rest.

An Associated Press review of jail records earlier this year found that on average health care was sought multiple times each week within the facilities.

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