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Appendix C. Policing and Law Enforcement in Indian Country

The administration of criminal justice throughout Indian Country is overseen by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and authorized pursuant to the public law and statutory regulations set forth in Table 15.

Table 15. Law Enforcement Jurisdiction in Indian Country

Offender Victim Jurisdiction Not Conferred Under Public Law 280, 18 U.S.C. 1162
Non-Indian Non-Indian State jurisdiction is exclusive of federal and tribal jurisdiction.
Non-Indian Indian Federal jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. 1152 is exclusive of state and tribal jurisdiction.
Indian Non-Indian If listed in 18 U.S.C. 1153, there is federal jurisdiction, exclusive of the state, but not of the tribe. If the listed offense is not otherwise defined and punished by federal law applicable in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, state law is assimilated.
If not listed in 18 U.S.C. 1153, there is federal jurisdiction, exclusive of the state, but not of the tribe, under 18 U.S.C. 1152. If the offense is not defined and punished by a statute applicable within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, state law is assimilated under 18 U.S.C. 13.
Indian Indian If the offense is listed in 18 U.S.C. 1153, there is federal jurisdiction, exclusive of the state, but not of the tribe. If the listed offense is not otherwise defined and punished by federal law applicable in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, state law is assimilated. If not listed in 18 U.S.C. 1153, tribal jurisdiction is exclusive.
Non-Indian Victimless State jurisdiction is exclusive, although federal jurisdiction may attach if an impact on individual Indian or tribal interest is clear.
Indian Victimless There may be both federal and tribal jurisdiction. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, all state gaming laws, regulatory as well as criminal, are assimilated into federal law, and exclusive jurisdiction is vested in the United States.
Offender Victim Jurisdiction When Conferred Under Public Law 280, 18 U.S.C. 1162
Non-Indian Non-Indian State jurisdiction is exclusive of federal and tribal jurisdiction.
Non-Indian Indian Mandatory--state has jurisdiction exclusive of federal and tribal jurisdiction.
Optional--state and federal government have jurisdiction. There is no tribal jurisdiction.
Indian Non-Indian Mandatory--state has jurisdiction exclusive of federal government but not necessarily of the tribe.
Optional--state has concurrent jurisdiction with the federal courts and tribal courts.
Indian Indian Mandatory--state has jurisdiction exclusive of the federal government but not necessarily of the tribe.
Optional--state has concurrent jurisdiction with tribal courts for all offenses and concurrent with federal courts for those listed in 18 U.S.C. 1153.
Non-Indian Victimless State jurisdiction is exclusive, although federal jurisdiction may attach in an option state if impact on individual Indian or tribal interest is clear.
Indian Victimless There may be concurrent state, tribal and, in an option state, federal jurisdiction. There is no state regulatory jurisdiction.

Source: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm00689.htm; http://tribaljurisdiction.tripod.com/id8.html.

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Policing resources available to large geographically remote reservations is limited. Law enforcement officials throughout Indian Country indicate that tribal law enforcement agencies possess significantly fewer law enforcement resources (equipment and manpower) than their counterparts in non-Indian communities. This greatly impedes the officials' ability to provide sufficient law enforcement coverage in remote areas of reservations and to support criminal drug investigations.

The availability and allocation of correctional resources in Indian Country are limited. Approximately 82 detention facilities currently exist in Indian Country; they are located on 57 reservations throughout the country. Only 27 of the facilities can be used to house juvenile offenders. Of the 82 facilities, 20 are operated by BIA and 62 are operated by individual tribes. Despite the fact that correctional facilities are located within reservations, law enforcement officials must travel significant distances to house offenders.

Federal agency involvement in Indian Country is an integral part of its criminal investigative and justice systems. The FBI is the principal federal law enforcement agency that investigates major crimes including homicide, sexual abuse, and felony assaults in Indian Country. A critical component of the FBI's efforts in Indian Country is its Safe Trails Task Force (STTF) program, which unites the FBI with other law enforcement agencies in a collaborative effort to combat the problem of violent crime and drug trafficking in Indian Country. Participating agencies include FBI, DEA, BIA, ATF, tribal police departments, and state and local law enforcement agencies. Currently, 19 STTFs are funded, and planning for additional task forces is underway.

Safe Trails Task Force Locations

Bismarck-Mandan Safe Trails Task Force (Bismarck, ND)

Blackfeet Safe Trails Task Force (Browning, MT)

Crow/Northern Cheyenne Safe Trails Task Force (Billings, MT)

Fort Apache Safe Trails Task Force (Lakeside-Pinetop, AZ)

Fort Peck Safe Trails Force (Glasgow, MT)

Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force (Bemidji, MN)

Menominee Indian Reservation Task Force (Green Bay, WI)

Nebraska Safe Trails Task Force (Sioux City, IA)

New Mexico Safe Trails Task Force (Gallup, NM)

Northern Plains Safe Trails Task Force (Pierre, SD)

Northwest Washington Safe Trails Task Force (Everett, WA)

Sacramento Indian Gaming Safe Trails Task Force (Sacramento, CA)

Salish Safe Trails Task Force (Spokane, WA)

Tohono O'odham Safe Trails Task Force (Tucson, AZ)

Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force (Havre, MT)

Upper Peninsula Safe Trails Task Force (Marquette, MI)

Utah Navajo Violent Crimes Task Force (Monticello, UT)

Warm Springs Safe Trails Task Force (Bend, OR)

Western Nevada Safe Trails Task Force (Reno, NV)


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