criminal prosecution

Image
Tribes now free to prosecute non-Indians for certain crimes

Tribes now free to prosecute non-Indians for certain crimes

American Indian tribes that meet certain criteria now have the authority to prosecute non-Indians for a limited set of domestic violence crimes, a shift supporters hope will reduce the high rate of violence on reservations. Three tribes in Arizona, Oregon and Washington state have exercised that…

Image
Tribes reach key milestone with jurisdiction provisions of VAWA

Tribes reach key milestone with jurisdiction provisions of VAWA

The tribal jurisdiction provisions of the the Violence Against Women Act became effective nationwide on Saturday, clearing the path for non-Indians to be held accountable for abusing their Indian partners. Congress enacted S.47 to recognize tribal authority to arrest, prosecute and punish non-…

Image
UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

University of Arizona alumnus Alfred Urbina, chief prosecutor for Southern Arizona's Pascua Yaqui tribe, has sat in front of families whose loved ones have been victims of violent crimes, only to say there is nothing that can be done. "I have had to face whole families and explain that we could not…

Image
Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women. “We would literally drive them to the end of the…

Image
How to Protect Tribal Lands From Our Deadliest Enemies

How to Protect Tribal Lands From Our Deadliest Enemies

In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a severe below to Indian sovereignty when it decided Nevada v. Hicks, suggesting to states and counties that when their cops are investigating off-reservation crimes, they need not obtain tribal court warrants to conduct searches or arrests on tribal land. The…

Image
Navigating VAWA's New Tribal Court Jurisdictional Provision

Navigating VAWA's New Tribal Court Jurisdictional Provision

President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a federal statute that addresses domestic violence and other crimes against women. As initially conceived in 1994, VAWA created new federal crimes and sanctions to fill in gaps, provided training for…

Image
A Leader Emerges: Hopi Tribe Adopts New Criminal Code According to Tribal Law and Order Act Standards

A Leader Emerges: Hopi Tribe Adopts New Criminal Code According to Tribal Law and Order Act Standards

The Hopi Tribal Council voted to adopt a new criminal code on August 28, thereby scrapping a 1970s version that all but failed to punish sex crimes and limited tribal prosecutors to one-year terms, even for murder. In doing so, the small Arizona tribe emerged as a leader in Indian country when it…

Image
Native America Calling VAWA 2 Years Later

VAWA 2 Years Later

It’s been just over 2 years since Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act. In February of last year, three tribes participated in a pilot project to exercise the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction (SDVCJ) portion of the law. Under SDVCJ, some tribes can prosecute Natives…

Image
Considerations in Implementing VAWA’s Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction and TLOA’s Enhanced Sentencing Authority: A Look at the Experience of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Considerations in Implementing VAWA’s Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction and TLOA’s Enhanced Sentencing Authority: A Look at the Experience of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe

On February 20, 2014, pursuant to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), the Pascua Yaqui Tribe was one of only three Tribes across the United States to begin exercising Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic…

Image
The Dynamics of Navajo Peacemaking

The Dynamics of Navajo Peacemaking

This article explains the traditional Navajo justice process using social psychology and Navajo discourse. It identifies the nayee or monster (things that get in the way of a successful life) in disputes in light of cognitive dissonance or the state of tension when a person holds two inconsistent…

Image
A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer: Report To The President And Congress Of The United States

A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer: Report To The President And Congress Of The United States

“A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer” (Roadmap) provides a path to make Native American and Alaska Native communities safer and more just for all U.S. citizens and to reduce unacceptably high rates of violent crime rates in Indian country. The Roadmap is the culmination of hearings,…

Image
Strategies for Creating Offender Reentry Programs in Indian Country

Strategies for Creating Offender Reentry Programs in Indian Country

Weed and Seed, a community-based strategy sponsored by DOJ, is an innovative, comprehensive, multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. The strategy aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in designated high-…