United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg Announces A Pilot Project Grant Funded By The Office On Violence Against Women To Cross-Designate Tribal Prosecutor In Nebraska
OMAHA—United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced today that Nebraska has been awarded a pilot project grant by the Office of Violence Against Women to address the high domestic violence rate against Native American women. In collaboration with the Winnebago Tribe, a grant will be awarded providing for a cooperative agreement to hire a prosecutor to pursue violence against women cases in both tribal and federal courts.
The goal of the Tribal Special U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) program is to train eligible prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable criminal offense is prosecuted in tribal court, federal court or both. The program enables prosecutors to bring violence against women cases in federal court and to serve as co-counsel with tribal prosecutors on felony investigations and prosecutions of offenses arising out of the Winnebago, Omaha and Santee Sioux reservations.
“We know that violence against Native women has reached epidemic proportions,” said Deborah R. Gilg. “Restoring safety for Native women requires the type of sustained cooperation between the federal and tribal justice systems that we anticipate in our innovative pilot tribal SAUSA project.”
Through this special initiative, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will support salary, travel, and training costs of one tribal SAUSA, who will work in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Nebraska as well as the three tribes. The tribal SAUSA will maintain an active violence against women crimes caseload, in tribal and/or federal court, while also helping to promote higher quality investigations, improved training, and better inter-governmental communication.The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from the Department's 2009 Tribal Nation Listening Session on Public Safety and Law Enforcement, and its annual tribal consultation on violence against women. The Tribal SAUSA initiative is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities, and represents a partnership between the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), the Executive Office of US Attorney's (EOUSA) and the US Attorney's Office in Nebraska.