Quick Hit: “Law & Order: Indian Country”

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Earlier this week, the Tribal Law and Order Commission released a report documenting the effects of the Tribal Law and Order Act, and setting forth recommendations on how to decrease violence in tribal areas of the U.S.

The report recommends providing “greater local control and accountability
while respecting the Federal constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens.” Fronteras Desk provides history of “policing Indian Country,” from 1881 to present day:

Two acts signed into law under the Obama administration are beginning to remedy the extraordinarily complicated area of law that represents Indian Country jurisdiction: the first is the Violence Against Women Act, passed last year, which provides a partial fix to the above mentioned Oliphant vs. Suquamish. Now, a native woman victimized by a non-native man in Indian Country can take her abuser to tribal court. The second is the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA), passed in 2010, which aims to increase funding, provide enhanced sentencing capabilities for tribes, and improve communications between authorities.

Fronteras Desk describes some of the findings of the report, including:

• The Federal government is largely to blame for the decades-old public safety gap in Native America.

• Whereas most U.S. citizens rely on local and regional criminal justice systems, tribes do the opposite and depend on federal or state laws from outside their communities making Tribal Nations less safe.

For more, go to the full article.

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