$82.7 MILLION PROVIDED TO TRIBAL COMMUNITIES FOR LAW AND JUSTICE SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced more than $82.7 million in grant funds and assistance to tribal communities for law enforcement and justice system improvements in fiscal year 2007. These awards include funds for tribal courts assistance, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, juvenile and mental health programs, victim assistance, and developing responses to violent crimes against Indian women.
"We recognize that tribal communities face many challenges today. Although the most effective and locally appropriate solutions to their diverse problems come from the tribes themselves, the federal government is committed to being a full partner in their efforts to improve public safety," said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. "These grants will help tribes develop and implement their own law enforcement and criminal justice strategies."
The grant amounts and purposes are as follows:
The grants are administered by the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women. The initiatives enhance tribal criminal and juvenile justice systems, improve the handling of child abuse cases and service delivery to victims of crime, and support tribal efforts through technical assistance and training. Additionally, OJP's new Justice Council on Native American Affairs supports outreach to tribal communities, which includes helping tribe's access grant funding opportunities.
In addition to funding, the DOJ has provided a comprehensive range of technical assistance and support to Indian Country in 2007. In September, ten Tribal sites were selected to serve as pilot communities as part of the Department's AMBER Alert in Indian Country Initiative. The ten Tribal sites will serve as demonstration sites for other Native American communities to help expand the AMBER Alert program into Indian County and bridge the gap between tribal communities and state and regional programs across the country.
This year the Department hosted a series of Consultation, Training & Technical Assistance sessions, focusing on tribal priority issues related to public safety for families and communities. Aimed at improving law enforcement and criminal justice in Indian country, the sessions targeted issues such as tribal court systems, multi-jurisdictional coordination and communication, sexual offender registry, and other law enforcement areas.
More information on the DOJ's tribal initiatives is available at the Tribal Justice and Safety Web page, a newly launched OJP Internet site which provides timely and comprehensive information on tribal initiatives for improving safety in Native American communities. The Web page is located at http://www.usdoj.gov/tribaljusticeandsafety.