U.S. Department of Justice: Grants to Tribal Governments to Exercise Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction
The Tribal Jurisdiction Program is designed to assist Indian tribes in exercising “special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction” (SDVCJ). Through this program, Indian tribes will receive support and technical assistance for planning, developing, and implementing changes in their criminal justice systems necessary to exercise SDVCJ. The program encourages collaborations among tribal leadership, tribal courts, tribal prosecutors, tribal attorneys, tribal defenders, law enforcement, probation, service providers, and other partners to ensure that non-Indians who commit crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protection orders are held accountable. The Tribal Jurisdiction Program encourages the coordinated involvement of the entire tribal criminal justice system and victim service providers to incorporate systemic change that ensures victim safety and offender accountability.
The Tribal Jurisdiction Program may be used for the following purposes:
- To strengthen tribal criminal justice systems to assist Indian tribes in exercising SDVCJ, including: law enforcement; prosecution; trial and appellate courts; probation systems; detention and correctional facilities; alternative rehabilitation centers; culturally appropriate services and assistance for victims and their families; and criminal codes and rules of criminal procedure, appellate procedure, and evidence
- To provide indigent criminal defendants with the effective assistance of licensed defense counsel, at no cost to the defendant, in criminal proceedings in which a participating tribe prosecutes a crime of domestic violence or dating violence or a criminal violation of a protection order
- To ensure that, in criminal proceedings in which a participating tribe exercises SDVCJ, jurors are summoned, selected, and instructed in a manner consistent with all applicable requirements
- To accord victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protection orders rights that are similar to the rights of a crime victim described in section 3771(a) of Title 18, consistent with tribal law and custom
Amount: A total of $3,500,000 is expected to be available to make up to 10 awards that range from $300,000-$450,000. The project period is for 36 months.
Eligibility: Indian tribal governments that have jurisdiction over Indian Country. “Indian tribal government” means a tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the U.S. to Indians because of their status as Indians. The term “Indian Country,” means: (a) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation; (b) all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the U.S. whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state; and (c) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.
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