Archives for June 2013

Indian County Investigations and Prosecutions Report

On May 30 2013, the Congress received the United States Department of Justice’s report on Indian County Investigations and Prosecutions. The 2010 tribal Law and Order Act have a range of enforcements and this report provided the statistics of the tribal justice. Since the fiscal year of 2009 there is a significant 54 present increase in criminal prosecutions in Indian County, which are very positive.
The U.S. Attorneys have all across the country focused heavily on the fighting of crime in Indian Country and made a positive effort to reinforce and strengthen the bond between tribal justice and federal law enforcement. This strengthens the faith of tribal people and U.S. citizens’ faith in the criminal justice system of the United States.
Continued work and even more effort are promised with tribal people in order to ensure them a sustainable, healthy and safe community in the Alaskan Native and American Indian communities. Public safeties in communities are the commitment of the U.S. with the clear prosecution strategies used in curbing Indian Country crime.
The report proved the following results:
• New era in partnerships between Tribal people and the federal government and U.S. citizen of non-tribal communities. Safeties of communities are the commitment and relate to all tribal and federal, personnel, prosecutors, investigators and judges.
• Common reasons why investigations were not referred to federal courts were either insufficient evidence to prove criminal acts or natural deaths, suicides or accidents.
• Declinations of cases from tribal justice were insufficient evidence of referrals to alternative prosecution authorities.
• During 2011 37 present of cases from Indian Country were declined by the United States Federal Court and during the year 2012 31 present were declined by the United States for reasons stated above.
• Overall a substantial amount was prosecuted and only 965 out of 3, 145 was declined for reasons also stated in the above.

Recent Post

The Need For Tribal Justice

Tribal justice refers to the system of dispensing justice to the tribal group. On many occasions, we can see that tribal people are often met out injustice as they belong to a class of lesser privileged people. However, owing to the laws of equality, which states that all men are equal in the eyes of law, it is absolutely mandatory that tribal justice be met… more

Tribal Court Assistance Program

BJA’s Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP) is one of the U.S. Department of  Justice’s primary initiatives for providing court-related support to tribal justice systems. Since fiscal year (FY) 1999, BJA has awarded 259 grants to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native communities through a highly competitive process. TCAP’s goal is to develop new tribal courts, improve the operations of existing tribal courts, and provide… more

Indigenous Justice Systems

Dual justice systems exist in several contemporary tribal communities. These tribal justice systems of the tribal people are based on indigenous paradigm and American paradigm. American paradigm’s roots stem from European world views and based on retributive philosophy that’s punitive, adversarial, and hierarchical and guided by written rules, guidelines, and procedures and codified laws. It is an upward vertical power structure and decision making is limited to few people. This philosophy upholds that a criminal should suffer, because the victim suffered. It is premised on notions that a criminal is wicked and responsible for wrong actions and punishments are deserved. Offenders are reconciled with communities in the payment of debt to society, victims are appeased and society has had its revenge. American paradigm applies law through adversarial systems, placing two parties in courtrooms and hereby determines defendants in a case’s innocence or guilt and a winner will be declared.
Indigenous justice paradigm uses holistic philosophy and North American’s aboriginal tribal people’s world view. These systems guided by traditions, practices and unwritten customary laws and learned through example and oral teachings to tribal people by the elders in a tribe. Holistic philosophy connects everybody involved in the crime or conflict and for harmony and peace within a community. The laws are based on reparative and restorative justice and basic principles of healing and the focus lies on the victim of a crime. The victim’s spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being and the goal are to renew and heal the victim. The offender also has to perform deliberate acts in regaining trust and dignity and return to a healthy mental, physical and spiritual state. Offender must ask forgiveness, engage in acts that will demonstrate the apology to the victim and the community, make restitution and amends. Offenders will remain an integral part of a tribal community and crimes is handled and seen as human error which require corrective intervention by elders, tribal leaders and families.

Recent Post

The Need For Tribal Justice

Tribal justice refers to the system of dispensing justice to the tribal group. On many occasions, we can see that tribal people are often met out injustice as they belong to a class of lesser privileged people. However, owing to the laws of equality, which states that all men are equal in the eyes of law, it is absolutely mandatory that tribal justice be met… more

Tribal Court Assistance Program

BJA’s Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP) is one of the U.S. Department of  Justice’s primary initiatives for providing court-related support to tribal justice systems. Since fiscal year (FY) 1999, BJA has awarded 259 grants to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native communities through a highly competitive process. TCAP’s goal is to develop new tribal courts, improve the operations of existing tribal courts, and provide… more