Shoshone-Bannock awarded $3.5M grant for justice center

Fort Hall, Idaho (AP) 10-09

A $3.5 million federal grant will help the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes finish construction of a 66,200-square-foot justice center in eastern Idaho.

The Fort Hall Justice Center, when completed, will consist of three courtrooms and separate detention areas that will be able to hold up to 80 adults and 20 juveniles.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will go toward final construction of detention facilities at the center, said Shoshone-Bannock spokeswoman Laverne Beech.


Nationwide, the Justice Department awarded more than $224 million in stimulus funds for jail construction and nearly $12 million for juvenile justice system improvements on tribal lands.

In Idaho, the nearly $20 million construction project to build a justice center in Fort Hall began last year. The project was launched with about $4 million in seed money the Fort Hall Business Council reserved for the facility in 1998.

The tribes secured more funding with a construction loan from the Denver-based Native American Bank.

The center is expected to be completed in December, and the facility is to open in February.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have been operating legal programs in condemned buildings for too long, Fort Hall Business Council Chairman Alonzo Coby told the Idaho State Journal.

“We appreciate the support we are getting from the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to help bring our facilities into compliance with federal requirements and safety standards,” Coby said.