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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Department of Justice Announces Expansion of Program to Enhance Tribal Access to National Crime Information Databases

Department of Justice Tribal Access Program Will Continue to Improve the Exchange of Critical Data

The Department of Justice announced today 11 tribes selected to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program to provide federally recognized tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both civil and criminal purposes.  TAP allows tribes to more effectively serve and protect their communities by ensuring the exchange of critical data.

Phase Two of TAP will grant access to national crime information databases and technical support to the following tribes:  

  • Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve, Alaska
  • Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah
  • Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico
  • Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation, California
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North & South Dakota
  • Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona
  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota
  • Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana
  • Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Wisconsin
  • Makah Indian Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation, Washington state

“Since its launch in 2015, this project has not only helped law enforcement locate suspects, rescue victims and extradite captured fugitives, but it’s also made it easier for civil courts to enter and enforce orders of protection for domestic violence victims,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates.  “I’m proud that the Justice Department is continuing to act as a responsible partner with tribal governments in this landmark effort, which strengthens both sovereignty and safety for American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

This phase was funded by the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART), and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and supported with technical assistance from the Department of Justice Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).  It will focus on assisting tribes that have either a Sex Offender Registry pursuant to the SORNA, or a tribal law enforcement agency that is not a BIA direct service agency.  The COPS Office and the SMART Office each provided $1 million in prior fiscal year funding towards the expansion, which will be used for the 11 kiosks.

In the fall of 2015, the department selected tribes to participate in the initial User Feedback Phase of TAP.  This partnership focused on testing the department’s technology solution and training support; it also enabled tribes to identify and share best practices regarding the use of national crime information databases to strengthen public safety.

During 2016, participating tribes received a kiosk workstation that provided access to national systems as well as training to support whole-of-government needs. User Feedback Phase tribes have elected to implement TAP in a variety of criminal and civil agencies.  Those tribal criminal agencies included law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, criminal courts, jails, and probation departments.  The tribal civil agencies and programs that were eligible to use TAP included agencies whose staff and volunteers have contact with or control over Indian children; public housing agencies; child support enforcement agencies; Head Start programs; civil agencies that investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children; civil courts that issue orders of protection, restraining orders or other keep away orders; and sex offender registration programs.

TAP enhances tribal efforts to register sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA); have orders of protection enforced off-reservation; protect children; keep firearms away from persons who are disqualified from receiving them; improve the safety of public housing, and allow tribes to enter their arrests and convictions into national databases.

TAP supports tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information and includes appropriate solutions, including a-state-of-the-art biometric/biographic kiosk workstation with capabilities to process finger and palm prints, take mugshots and submit records to national databases, as well as the ability to access CJIS systems for criminal and civil purposes through the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Information Network. TAP, which is managed by the DOJ Chief Information Officer, provides specialized training and assistance for participating tribes, including computer-based training and on-site instruction, as well as a 24/7 Help Desk.

For more information on TAP, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

For more information about the Justice Department’s work on tribal justice and public safety issues, visit:  www.justice.gov/tribal.

For more information about the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, visit https://www.indianaffairs.gov/.

16-1509
Topic: 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated December 23, 2016