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Press Release

Department of Justice Awards $5.7 Million to Support Native American Crime Victims in Seven States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane, Washington – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, joined the Department of Justice in announcing ten awards totaling more than $5.7 million to support crime victims in Native American communities in seven states: Washington, Alaska, California, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. One of the Native American communities receiving an award is located in the Eastern District of Washington. The Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation was awarded $679,259 to expand the Tribe’s victim assistance services program to serve victims of human trafficking. The funding will support the hiring of a victim advocate, as well as travel and training costs for staff. Funds will also be used to develop a strategic plan to improve crime victim services.

The group of 10 awards is the second in a series of grants being made by the Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. OVC has now awarded more than $9 million of up to $100 million to support tribal victim service programs. The awards—17 in total so far—will fund critical crime victim services, such as counseling, transitional housing, emergency services and transportation. The grants are supported by the Crime Victims Fund, a repository of federal criminal fines, fees and special assessments. The fund includes zero tax dollars.

“American Indian and Alaska Native communities face extensive public safety challenges, but through creative approaches that combine traditional methods with innovative solutions, they are demonstrating their determination to meet the needs of victims in their communities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “These grants, part of historic levels of funding awarded by the Department of Justice to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, will provide significant resources to bring critical services to those who suffer the effects of crime and violence.”

Joseph H. Harrington said, “This is a very significant award and it will enhance the Kalispel Indian Community’s ability to provide the important and critical services needed to effectively support victims of crime.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, American Indians and Alaska Natives experience violent crimes at rates far greater than the general population.

“American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims continue to face challenges in accessing vital services and resources needed to help survivors address their trauma and navigate a complex system,” said OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson. “The Justice Department has made it a priority to partner with tribes to help victims and their families rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence.”

The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth, provides federal leadership to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims, and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal justice system. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

Updated March 21, 2019

Topics
Human Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice