WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 1999202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Justice Department today announced the availability of grants to help American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes develop, enhance, and continue the operation of tribal judicial systems. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Office of Justice Programs, will solicit concept papers as part of a competitive grant announcement released today. Funding will also support extensive technical assistance and training for tribal court grantees, as well as all tribal judicial systems.

"This grant program is an unprecedented opportunity for tribal governments to improve their judicial systems," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "These funds will have a direct impact on public safety and quality of life in tribal communities."

Tribal Courts funds can be used for the following:

"OJP and its bureaus and program offices are working directly with Indian tribes to address crime and ensure the safety of tribal communities," said Noël Brennan, Deputy Assistant Attorney General. "These grants will go a long way in strengthening tribal justice systems."

All federally recognized tribal governments, including Alaskan Native villages are eligible to apply for Development of Tribal Court Planning Grants and Enhancement and Continuing Operation of Tribal Courts Grants.

Any nonprofit organization, unit of government, tribal government, court, tribal judicial system, or academic institution that has demonstrated the capability to work with and provide training and technical assistance to tribal governments and tribal judicial systems may apply for Providing Technical Assistance for Tribal Courts Grants or Developing a National Tribal Court Resource Center Grants.

Awards will range from $30,000 to $500,000 for use over two years. Applications for development and enhancement and continuing operation grants must be received by August 20. Applications for technical assistance and development of a National Tribal Court Resource Center grants must be received by August 6.

The Tribal Courts Grants Program is part of the Department of Justice's Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative. Copies of the Tribal Courts Announcement and Application are available through the BJA Website at or by calling the BJA Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-800/688-4252.

Information about other OJP bureaus and program offices is available at Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.


BJA 99-134