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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 21, 2016

National Reentry Week- Tribal Reentry Program

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Inaugural Appointment of Cultural/Spiritual Mentors

FARGO - United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers for the District of North Dakota, and Randolph J. Seiler, United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, announced that on April 22, 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) Reentry Week Mentorship Program Launch will take place at the council chambers in the SRST government building located in Fort Yates, ND, at 12:30 p.m., and is open to the public as well as the media.

The United States Attorney’s Offices for both the Districts of North and South Dakota have been collaborating with the tribe since approximately December of 2014 to organize a Tribal Reentry Program that would address the growing issue of recidivist activity being committed by returning members. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the U. S. Attorneys for the District of North and South Dakota in a ceremony that took place at the SRST Council Chambers in Fort Yates, ND, on July 7, 2015.

The MOU has led to the creation of a charter and plan of action in instituting a reentry program that will revolve around spiritual and cultural mentors who have successfully reintegrated back into the community. These mentors will, in turn, help the returning offenders become "reacclimated" to the reservation community and provide spiritual and cultural guidance on how to avoid the common pitfalls of reentry. At the April 22nd event, the Tribe will officially assign 3 to 5 members returning to the community to the first two fully-qualified mentors in the program, with an additional 6 to 8 mentors being assigned over the next 36 months.

"The launching of the Mentorship Program is an extraordinary step in a positive direction," said Troy Morley, a reentry services team member, Assistant U.S Attorney, and Tribal Liaison for the District of South Dakota. "The MOU we have in place has provided an incredible opportunity for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and all of the state and federal partners, to work jointly towards the goal of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety for all tribal members. We are excited about this reentry program, which will allow mentors to help others successfully integrate themselves back into their communities."

The MOU that set the program into motion was signed by the South Dakota U.S. Attorney’s Office, North Dakota U.S. Attorney’s Office, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services - Standing Rock Agency, South Dakota Department of Corrections, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, South Dakota Unified Judicial System, North Dakota U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, South Dakota U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations, and the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

For more information on reentry, please click on the link https://www.justice.gov/usao-nd/reentry-program.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Office and Personnel Updates
Component(s): 
Updated April 21, 2016