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Decisions about what to do with people coming through the criminal court system can have long-lasting impacts on those individuals’ well-being and public safety more broadly. Will putting them in jail make things better or worse? Will offering them services help address some of the underlying issues that brought them to court in the first place? Given the complexity of these decisions, criminal justice practitioners have increasingly relied on risk assessments to help them systematically make these determinations. But assessments used in one context do not always translate well to other contexts. In particular, tribal courts—courts operated by Indian tribes under laws and procedures that the Tribe has enacted (Jones, 2000)—have found these assessments lacking and not always appropriate for their unique context and population.

Because of this, there has been a desire among tribal practitioners to develop their own risk assessment tools or ensure appropriate validation of existing tools within their tribal contexts or with tribal populations. This report summarizes the first steps that the Center for Court Innovation and the Tribal Defenders of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have taken to build knowledge and lay the groundwork for advancing risk-need assessment, data management, and technological capacity in tribal courts.

A total of 2,180 inmates were held in 80 jails in Indian country at midyear 2021, an 8% increase from the 2,020 inmates held in 82 facilities at midyear 2020. The increase follows a 30% decline in the inmate population from midyear 2019 to midyear 2020. The midyear 2021 inmate population was 25% lower than the midyear 2019 population, when 2,890 inmates were confined in Indian country jails. This decline was attributed mainly to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 2,180 inmates were held in 80 jails in Indian country at midyear 2021, an 8% increase from the 2,020 inmates held in 82 facilities at midyear 2020. The increase follows a 30% decline in the inmate population from midyear 2019 to midyear 2020 (figure 1; table 1). The midyear 2021 inmate population was 25% lower than the midyear 2019 population, when 2,890 inmates were confined in Indian country jails. This decline was attributed mainly to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This webpage provides a wealth of links to resources related to Native Americans and corrections. Resources range from publications which include various reports and statistics, links to related organizations, and links to grant programs.

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This report is the 11th in a series that began in 2011 to meet the reporting requirements of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 (TLOA). It describes activities by the Bureau of Justice Statistics to collect and improve data on crime and justice in Indian country. It summarizes funding to enhance tribal participation in national records and information systems and highlights data collection activities covering tribal populations.

This report is the 12th in a series that began in 2011. It fulfills the requirement of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 to report annually on BJS's activities to establish and enhance a tribal crime data collection system. The report highlights data collections that covered tribal populations, including the National Survey of Victim Service Providers, the Survey of Jails in Indian Country, the Census of Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies, the Census of Tribal Court Systems, and the Federal Justice Statistics Program. It summarizes statistical findings on tribal justice agencies and the American Indian and Alaska Native population, and it provides information on funding to tribes to enhance tribal participation in national records and information systems.

This report is the 12th in a series that began in 2011. It fulfills the requirement of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 to report annually on BJS's activities to establish and enhance a tribal crime data collection system. The report highlights data collections that covered tribal populations, including the National Survey of Victim Service Providers, the Survey of Jails in Indian Country, the Census of Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies, the Census of Tribal Court Systems, and the Federal Justice Statistics Program. It summarizes statistical findings on tribal justice agencies and the American Indian and Alaska Native population, and it provides information on funding to tribes to enhance tribal participation in national records and information systems.

"All governments should be very concerned about domestic violence against Native women. Tribal governments across the United States are creating programs to improve response to violent crime. As sovereign governments, tribes can assert jurisdiction in criminal and civil actions involving assaults against Native women … As sovereign governments, many tribes have asserted concurrent or exclusive criminal and/or civil jurisdiction in domestic violence cases. A key piece of responding to domestic violence is to draft or revise tribal domestic violence laws. This resource guide was developed to provide a starting point for drafting or revising tribal laws on domestic violence. It is written with a philosophy that tribal laws should reflect tribal values. In addition, writing a tribal law usually requires careful consideration of how state and/or federal laws might apply in the community. This resource guide includes examples from a variety of tribal codes and discussion questions that are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for your community" (p. 1). Resources are organized into the following sections: general provisions; jurisdiction—criminal or civil; criminal domestic violence statutes—defining domestic violence, role of law enforcement, role of tribal prosecutors, role of courts, evidence, victims' rights in criminal proceedings, and sanctions; protective orders—developing civil protective orders, violating protective orders, and full faith and credit; family law and child custody; and education and batterer intervention.

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