Jail deaths highlight ongoing rural Alaska safety issues

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A spokeswoman for an Alaska regional tribal consortium says the recent deaths of three people at village jails underscores ongoing public safety problems in rural parts of the state.

Azara Mohammadi (ah-ZAHR-ah moh-HAH-mah-dee) a spokeswoman for the Association of Village Council Presidents, which is made up of 56 federally recognized tribes of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, says public safety is the No. 1 concern.

A fire April 28 killed two detainees and severely injured two guards in the village of Napakiak (nah-PAK-ee-ak).

Another person died Friday after he was found intoxicated and detained in the village of Akiachak (AK-ee-ah-chak).

The Association of Village Council Presidents last summer surveyed village police departments and jails and found many rural jails in need of repair.

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