Currently, DRS is the largest Correctional/Detention facility within Indian Country, and DRS have the highest inmate census, within Indian Country. Only Native Americans can be incarcerated in DRS. The facility is on 20 acres of land and the buildings cover 96,116 square feet. The facility is a tribally run facility that operates on both tribal and federal funds. The mission of the facility is to protect the Gila River Indian Community while maintaining a safe and secure environment for the inmates, staff, and providers/volunteers.
The 277 bed, co-ed facility is operated by tribal and federal funding in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and began operating in 1999. According to the 2003 report from the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, the Gila River Indian Community had the most violent crimes per capita in all of Indian Country.
The average facility population ranges from 200-225 inmates on a regular basis with an average census population of approximately 45 females and 180 males. The facility houses both sentenced and pretrial status offenders, at various levels of security and classification. Approximately 38-40 % of the inmate population is pretrial status, waiting for their case to be adjudicated. The average pretrial status offender may be incarcerated for three to six months prior to their adjudication. Once the inmate is sentenced they are classified by the Classification Officer, who reviews various factors in determining the inmate's classification. Due to the different levels of security and keep separate issues, inmates in different housing assignments can not be programmed together.
DRS focuses on the corrections aspect of incarceration, as well as the rehabilitation aspect of incarceration. Incarceration affects everyone, the community, the families, the children of inmates, and the inmates themselves by their incarceration. While incarcerated, inmates will frequently come to the realization that their choices in life on the outside are not really working for them which resulted in their incarceration.
The goal of the Programs Department is to provide a proverbial "toolbox" to the inmates while they are here so that they are able to learn or understand how to fix their "life issues" in a healthy way once they are released. Our hope is this "toolbox" will reduce the recidivism (repeated incarceration) rates within the community. Programs are also provided when Correctional Officers correct any inappropriate behavior or communication when working with the inmates. Program providers and volunteers facilitate programs to challenge the inmates to think and act differently so that they can hopefully return to the community and live a more productive life. The Programs Department also attempts to reconnect inmates to their families and the Community, in hopes to repair those severed relationships that occurred prior to their offense, or due to their offense.
Programs provided at the Department of Rehabilitation and Supervision is varied in the type of activities for the inmates. DRS has on site staff that provide in-house programs for the inmates. Those programs consist of GED education, drug and alcohol education classes, vocational education programs, anger management, healthy relationships, life skills, and various other programs. Self-directed, computer GED resources are available for inmates to obtain their GED certificate. DRS will pay for the GED testing fees and Central Arizona College representative comes onsite for their testing now which reduces risk to transporting inmates off site. Programs officers also instruct basic computer classes, and life skills. Some tribal agencies also have staff that work at the facility providing groups and classes to the inmates weekly. Those programs are parenting classes provided by Tribal Social Services, Child Development classes, and sexual health education, screening, and testing. DRS also has a large group of volunteers that come into the facility to provide Alcoholics Anonymous groups, faith based groups, and cultural/spiritual programs and education. Inmates with mental health issues are provided counseling and medication management through the hospital's Behavioral Health Clinic on site therapist and psychiatrist work closely with the inmate population.
Name: Ron Lopez , Chief Adminstrator
Phone Number: 520-562-7061