Tribal Courts Technical Assistance Program

In 1998, the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics issued an alarming report, American Indians and Crime, on the effects and consequences of violent crime among American Indians. The most disturbing finding was that American Indians are victimized at a rate that is more than twice as high as the national average. With regard to criminal offenders, the BJS study revealed that: American Indians are more likely than people of other races to be victimized violently by a person of a different race, and the criminal victimizer is more likely to have consumed alcohol prior to committing the offense.

In reaction to the BJS report,  the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs brought the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative to Congress for action. The Initiative's goal was to stem the tide of violent crime in Indian Country through an increase in financial resources to federal agencies and tribes.

One small component of the Initiative was the provision of competitive grants to American Indian tribes and Alaska Native village to plan, develop, implement and enhance tribal justice systems. An important service of the Resource Center is to provide technical assistance particularly to those 30 tribes and village which received grants to fund tribal court enhancement projects. Twenty of the 30 tribal court enhancement grantees proposed project which involved the implementation of court technology and case management systems. Helping tribal justice systems use state-of-the-art court technology to improve justice service delivery and to more quickly restore harmony to tribal communities is a special area of emphasis for the Resource Center.