Tribal Court Clearinghouse          
           
 

Welcome to the Tribal Court Clearinghouse

The Tribal Court Clearinghouse is a comprehensive website established in June 1997 to serve as a resource for American Indian and Alaska Native Nations, American Indian and Alaska Native people, tribal justice systems, victims services providers, tribal service providers, and others involved in the improvement of justice in Indian country.

The Tribal Court Clearinghouse is developed and maintained by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, an Indian owned and operated non-profit corporation organized to design and develop education, research, training, and technical assistance programs which promote the enhancement of justice in Indian country and the health, well-being, and culture of Native peoples.

A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer - The Indian Law and Order Commission is pleased to transmit its final report and recommendations—A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer—as required by the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, Public Law 111-211 (TLOA). These recommendations are intended to make Native American and Alaska Native nations safer and more just for all U.S. citizens and to reduce the unacceptably high rates of violent crime that have plagued Indian country for decades. This report reflects one of the most comprehensive assessments ever undertaken of criminal justice systems servicing Native American and Alaska Native communities.

14th Annual CILA Conference
Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA
October 16 - 17, 2014
The planned events include a Welcome Dinner & Gala on Thursday, October 16th and a full-day of conference panels on Friday, October 17th. As was the case in past years, we anticipate that our attendees will include judges, lawyers, scholars, tribal leaders, and community members committed to enhancing the legal profession and tribal justice systems, and promoting advancements in the Indian law field.

We are pleased to announce our most recent publications:

  • New The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is pleased to announce the release of our newest BJA-approved publication: Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, 2nd ed., is the second edition of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, originally published by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in 2003. Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, 2nd ed., updates the key components of a Healing to Wellness Court as they apply in the tribal setting. Updates have been made to the law, treatment strategies, and evidenced-based practices. The key components describe the basic elements of a Healing to Wellness Court, and are important considerations for any tribal sovereign developing or operating their own problem-solving court. The publication focuses on the adult model, but also includes references for juvenile and family Healing to Wellness Courts. Each component is explained, followed by findings from the National Institute of Justice's Wellness Court Study, recommended practices, and lessons learned. Finally, each component concludes with a Tribal Story, providing context and creative strategies from operational Healing to Wellness Courts.
  • Promising Strategies: Tribal State Court Relations - Tribal courts and state courts interact across an array of issues, including child welfare, cross jurisdictional enforcement of domestic violence orders of protection, and civil commitments. Since the early 1990s, initiatives by judges’ organizations within both judicial systems have focused on an agenda of greater mutual understanding and cooperative action. This publication spotlights some of the most successful strategies within these initiatives.
  • Promising Strategies: Public Law 280 - In PL 280 jurisdictions, the concurrent jurisdiction of state and tribal courts over criminal prosecutions and civil actions arising in Indian Country creates many interactions and complications. Tribal and state authorities encounter one another across an array of issues, including government-to-government recognition, concurrent jurisdiction, cross-jurisdictional enforcement of domestic violence orders of protection, cross-deputization, and civil commitments. Tensions and misunderstandings have been common features of tribal and state policing relations in the past, sometimes erupting in jurisdictional conflicts. This publication highlights unique ways in which tribal and state jurisdictions have entered into collaborations to overcome barriers to effective justice provision.

 

Save the Dates!
December 11 - 13, 2014
14th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime
Agua Caliente Reservation, Coachella Valley, California
 

This national conference will provide opportunities for tribal, state, and federal participants to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas for developing and improving strategies and programs that serve the unique needs of crime victims in Indian Country.

Pre-Conference Institutes will be held Wednesday, December 10, 2014. Registration Packets will be available in early summer 2014.

Formal Justice Department Conference Approval Pending.


 
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has partnered with the California Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct the Native American Communities Justice Project (NACJP), an investigation into the issue of family violence in California Native Communities.

New on the Tribal Court Clearinghouse

New The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is pleased to announce the release of our newest BJA-approved publication: Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, 2nd ed., is the second edition of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, originally published by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in 2003. Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, 2nd ed., updates the key components of a Healing to Wellness Court as they apply in the tribal setting. Updates have been made to the law, treatment strategies, and evidenced-based practices. The key components describe the basic elements of a Healing to Wellness Court, and are important considerations for any tribal sovereign developing or operating their own problem-solving court. The publication focuses on the adult model, but also includes references for juvenile and family Healing to Wellness Courts. Each component is explained, followed by findings from the National Institute of Justice's Wellness Court Study, recommended practices, and lessons learned. Finally, each component concludes with a Tribal Story, providing context and creative strategies from operational Healing to Wellness Courts.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Crimes Against Children (or Microsoft Word 2007 Format) has been developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute under a Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities training and technical assistance grant. Specifically it has been developed to provide assistance to tribes and tribal organizations that have also received Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities grants. Tribes frequently request assistance in developing and/or updating their laws to address victimization of tribal children. The Institute developed this Resource Guide and Workbook to meet the identified need. This project was conceived in 2001 under the guidance of an Advisory Committee of experts in the tribal justice field, those working with Native child abuse and child victimization issues, and with tribal child and family services providers. The Crimes Against American Indian/Alaska Native Children Resource Guide provides illustrative examples, narrative, and discussion questions. The discussion questions direct users through a tailoring process that will assure that the resulting draft statutory provisions reflect the needs and values of the tribal community that the targeted law serves.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Domestic Violence Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This Victim-Centered Approach to Domestic Violence Against Native Women resource guide includes exercises, examples, and discussion questions to help you customize your laws to meet the needs of your community. This resource was revised and updated January 2012, including changes addressing issues concerning the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Tribal Judge’s Sexual Assault Bench Book and Bench Card was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judges who hear sexual assault cases in tribal courts. It provides background information on important sexual assault and tribal jurisdictional issues, as well as providing guidance in handling key issues at various stages of a sexual assault criminal trial.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Cases was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judicial officers in understanding how some tribal governments have handled certain legal issues within the context of domestic violence cases. While a great deal of research has been done on case law in the state systems, little to no analysis has been done on the tribal judicial approach to domestic violence. This compendium, developed as part of an overall code-writing workshop curriculum for tribal governments, will assist tribal legislators as well. Understanding how laws are interpreted by the court systems may impact the development of laws that provide safety to tribal citizens.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Sexual Assault and Stalking Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with the Southwest Center for Law and Policy to be a guide for drafting or revising victim-centered tribal criminal laws on sexual assault and stalking. 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 sample language and discussion questions which are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. This resource was revised and updated May 2012, including changes addressing the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Law Enforcement Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the investigation of sexual assault crimes. Effective investigations increase the likelihood of victim participation and increase the probability of convictions in tribal, state, and/or federal courts. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for law enforcement. A law enforcement protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence. Once your tribal government has strong laws in place, this publication will help you create policies and protocols for your law enforcement agency to enforce your laws.

Prosecutor Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. Holding offenders accountable for their actions is a key part of making your community safe. This publication is designed to help your prosecutor’s office ensure consistency and compassion for all survivors. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for tribal prosecution. A prosecutor protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Resource was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a guide to creating cohesive policies between tribal agencies. Victims of sexual assault deserve a coordinated, comprehensive response from a variety of community agencies. This SART resource provides a starting point for developing victim-centered SART teams in your community.

Listen to the Grandmothers Video Discussion Guidebook (Note: this PDF is one megabyte) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in order to assist tribal programs with incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. The "Listen to the Grandmothers” video features Native elders speaking to the problem of violence against Native women. The video provides a historical overview of violence against Native women, traditional responses to such violence and an analysis on incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. For information concerning the video and accompanying guidebook, please contact the Minnesota office of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Due to the sensitive nature of this video, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

New Federal Policy Calls for Collaboration to Improve Public Safety - The Department of Justice Policy calls for all U.S. Attorneys in districts containing Indian Country to establish tribal liaisons who, in consultation with tribes, would develop an operational plan to address elements such as communications, investigations, victim advocacy, and accountability and provide a blueprint for collaboration.

TribalProtectionOrder.org Launched - Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has launched a new website, TribalProtectionOrder.org, which is designed to provide both tribal and non-tribal entities with a clearinghouse of information and resources pertaining to the issuance and enforcement of protection orders.

Perceptions of Methamphetamine use in three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country - Indian country lacks both a macro and micro study of child abuse and methamphetamines. Because so little is documented routinely by either law enforcement, social services or medical professionals in assessing risks and dangers to children from environments where meth is found, data is difficult to find. However, in an attempt to explore the increasing concerns raised by the emerging methamphetamine epidemic in Indian country, professionals from three Western Tribal communities were asked to complete a survey about their perceptions of meth us and implications for child abuse in the communities in which they worked. This study was funded through the Training and Technical Assistance grant that the Tribal Law and Policy Institute receives for Children’s Justice Act Partnerships in Indian Communities to assist tribes in addressing serious child abuse. The tribes and individuals that participated in the study were guaranteed anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the questions being asked. However, each Tribal Council provided permission for the surveys to be conducted within their service areas.

A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act is intended to answer questions about the ICWA by people of all levels of familiarity with this important law, and to provide a comprehensive resource of information on the ICWA. The Guide, by the Native American Rights Fund, provides an introduction to the ICWA, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and an appendix of resources -- primary research documents (federal and state laws, regulations, court cases, legislative materials) and secondary research documents (reports, guides, links, bibliographies, forms, and contact information).

Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations

Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations
by Melissa L. Tatum, Miriam Jorgensen, Mary E. Guss, and Sarah Deer, published by UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2014

This book is designed to serve as a guide to communities engaged in the process of drafting a constitution and to students who are studying that process. For any nation, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, drafting and adopting a constitution is more than a legal process. It is a collective journey of self-discovery and reflection. New governing opportunities, changes in intergovernmental relations, heightened awareness of the importance of culturally legitimate governing institutions, and reforms in international law are generating a wave of constitution writing and constitutional reform among Native nations. This book draws on research, first hand experience with constitution writing and constitutional change, and numerous examples from actual governing documents to demonstrate the many ways that Indigenous nations can structure their sovereignty.

To order, email sales@aisc.ucla.edu
$40.00 Paper 978-2-935626-68-1

Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence textbook

Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence is a general introduction to the social and legal issues involved in acts of violence against Native women, this book's contributors are lawyers, advocates, social workers, social scientists, writers, poets, and victims. In the U.S. Native women are more likely than women from any other group to suffer violence, from rape and battery to more subtle forms of abuse, and Sharing Our Stories of Survival explores the causes and consequences of such behavior. The stories and case-studies presented here are often painful and raw, and the statistics are overwhelmingly grim; but a countervailing theme also runs through this extremely informative volume: Many of the women who appear in these pages are survivors, often strengthened by their travails, and the violence examined here is human violence, meaning that it can be changed, if only with much effort and education. The first step is to lay out the truth for all to see, and that is the purpose accomplished by this book. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$32.95, Paper 978-0-7591-1125-7, price after discount $26.35
$90.00, Cloth 978-0-7591-1124-0, price after discount $72.00

Sharing our Stories of Survival Trainer’s Manual

Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies

Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies: Second Edition is the only available comprehensive introduction to tribal law. In clear and straightforward language, Justin B. Richland and Sarah Deer discuss the history and structure of tribal justice systems; the scope of criminal and civil jurisdictions; and the various means by which the integrity of tribal courts is maintained. This book is an indispensable resource for students, tribal leaders, and tribal communities interested in the complicated relationship between tribal, federal, and state law. The second edition provides significant updates on all changes in laws affecting the tribes, numerous new case studies (including studies on Alaskan tribes and family law), and a new concluding chapter. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$55.00, Paper 978-0-7591-1211-7, price after discount $44.00
$99.00, Cloth 978-0-7591-1210-0, price after discount $79.20

 

Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure

Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure examines the complex subject of tribal criminal law and procedure from a tribal perspective—utilizing tribal statutory law, tribal case law, and the cultural values of Native peoples. Garrow and Deer discuss in depth the histories, structures and practices of tribal justice systems, comparisons of traditional tribal justice with Anglo-American law and jurisdictions, elements of criminal law and procedure, and alternative sentencing and traditional sanctions. Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure will be an invaluable resource for legal scholars and students. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$34.95, Paper 978-0-7591-0718-2, price after discount $27.96
$98.50, Cloth 978-0-7591-0717-5, price after discount $78.80

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group offers special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact Lynsey Weston in the Special Markets Department at 301-459-3366.

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