WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice today announced more than $82.7 million in grant funds and assistance to tribal communities for law enforcement and justice system improvements in fiscal year 2007. These awards include funds for tribal courts assistance, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, juvenile and mental health programs, victim assistance, and developing responses to violent crimes against Indian women.
“We recognize that tribal communities face many challenges today. Although the most effective and locally appropriate solutions to their diverse problems come from the tribes themselves, the federal government is committed to being a full partner in their efforts to improve public safety,” said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. “These grants will help tribes develop and implement their own law enforcement and criminal justice strategies.”
The grant amounts and purposes are as follows:
More than $46 million awarded through the newly-created Grants to Tribal Governments Program and the Transitional Housing, Rural, Arrest and Tribal Women’s Coalition Program to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking on American Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages.
$14.7 million awarded to 92 tribal police departments and governments in 23 states through the Tribal Resources Grant Program, which supports tribal law enforcement efforts to reduce crime and enhance the services provided to tribal communities.
More than $7.8 million awarded through the Tribal Youth Program, which helps tribal communities prevent juvenile delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve tribal juvenile justice systems.
More than $5.5 million awarded through the Tribal Courts Assistance Program to assist tribal justice systems to establish a core structure; improve case management; train court personnel; improve prosecution and indigent defense; support probation diversion and alternative sentencing programs; and focus on juvenile services.
More than $2.9 million awarded through the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Demonstration Program to help control and prevent crimes associated with the distribution and use of alcohol and controlled substances in tribal communities.
More than $3.5 million awarded to the Children's Justice Act Partnership for Indian Communities to continue improvements in tribal criminal justice systems for investigating and prosecuting child abuse cases, particularly incidents of child sexual abuse.
Nearly $1 million awarded through the Tribal Juvenile Accountability Discretionary Program, which helps tribes strengthen their juvenile justice systems by ensuring that youth are held accountable for their offenses.
$880 thousand awarded through OJP's technical assistance provider, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics (SEARCH), to provide tribes with onsite, no-cost technical assistance to tribal justice agencies across the country in the development, management, acquisition, of automated information systems in an effort to assist tribes in meeting compliance standards of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act.
$220 thousand awarded through the Tribal Criminal History Records Improvement Program to improve the quality and accessibility of tribal criminal history records and promote justice related data sharing across tribal, State, and national criminal records systems.
The grants are administered by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women. The initiatives enhance tribal criminal and juvenile justice systems, improve the handling of child abuse cases and service delivery to victims of crime, and support tribal efforts through technical assistance and training. Additionally, OJP's new Justice Council on Native American Affairs supports outreach to tribal communities, which includes helping tribe's access grant funding opportunities.
In addition to funding, the Department of Justice has provided a comprehensive range of technical assistance and support to Indian Country in 2007. In September, ten Tribal sites were selected to serve as pilot communities as part of the Department's AMBER Alert in Indian Country Initiative. The ten Tribal sites will serve as demonstration sites for other Native American communities to help expand the AMBER Alert program into Indian County and bridge the gap between tribal communities and state and regional programs across the country.
This year the Department hosted a series of Consultation, Training & Technical Assistance sessions, focusing on tribal priority issues related to public safety for families and communities. Aimed at improving law enforcement and criminal justice in Indian country, the sessions targeted issues such as tribal court systems, multi-jurisdictional coordination and communication, sexual offender registry, and other law enforcement areas.
More information on the Department of Justice's tribal initiatives is available at the Tribal Justice and Safety Web page, a newly launched OJP Internet site which provides timely and comprehensive information on tribal initiatives for improving safety in Native American communities. The Web page is located at http://www.usdoj.gov/tribaljusticeandsafety.