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Sacramento Bee 

New Justice Department Study Focuses on Tribal Crime Data

 


WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released Compendium of Tribal Crime Data, 2011. The compendium includes BJS's most current data on key criminal justice issues in Indian Country. It addresses gaps in national-level reporting of tribal crime data and is part of BJS's first annual report to Congress mandated by the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA), 2010.

The compendium describes BJS data collection activities and presents selected findings on important tribal crime issues. It summarizes current and planned activities to address gaps in tribal crime data and details findings about tribal law enforcement agencies, state court prosecutors' offices with jurisdiction in Indian Country, jails in Indian country, and tribal youth in the federal justice system.

Summary of findings:

Tribal Crime Data Collection Activities

The TLOA requires BJS to establish and implement a tribal crime data system through consultation with American Indian tribes and in collaboration with other federal agencies. This report describes BJS's multifaceted approach to support tribal participation in national data systems by strengthening existing data collection efforts and establishing new ones. During 2010, BJS worked with the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to ensure that tribal crime data met standards for the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. As a result, the number of Indian tribes submitting crime data to the FBI from 2008 to 2010 increased from 25 to 144, and federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) awards available for tribal law enforcement increased from $150,000 to $709,000. BJS also used Recovery Act funds to train 140 tribal law enforcement staff in the UCR.

Tribal Law Enforcement, 2008

In 2008, American Indian tribes operated 178 law enforcement agencies. Eleven of the largest agencies served jurisdictions covering more than 1,000 square miles. Tribal law enforcement agencies employed about 3,000 sworn officers in 2008. Most agencies were responsible for a number of functions in addition to law enforcement activities, such as court security and serving court documents.

State Prosecutors' Offices with Jurisdiction in Indian Country, 2007

In 2007, 93 state prosecutors' offices reported jurisdiction under Public Law 83-280 for felonies committed in Indian Country. Seventy-three percent of these offices reported prosecuting at least one felony in Indian Country. Most offenses committed in Indian Country and prosecuted in state courts involved drugs (63 percent), domestic violence (60 percent), or aggravated assault (58 percent).

Selected Findings: Jails in Indian Country, 2009

This report summarizes the key findings of a BJS report published in February 2011. Between June 2008 and June 2009, the average daily jail population in Indian Country increased by 12 percent, and the percentage of occupied bed space increased from 64 percent to 73 percent. During June 2009, the number of inmates admitted into Indian Country jails (11,357) was about 5 times the size of the average daily population (2,124).

Summary: Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System

Between 1999 and 2008, most tribal youth in the federal justice system were referred for a violent offense. Sexual abuse was the most common violent offense, followed by assault and murder. The number of tribal youth handled by the federal courts declined from 139 in 1999 to 70 in 2008. About 40 percent of tribal youth in matters referred to U.S. attorneys in 2008 (46 youth) were declined for prosecution, and of those prosecuted, federal courts convicted 95 percent of cases. Tribal youth represented more than half (2,124) of the nation's youth admitted to the legal custody of federal prison authorities from 1999 to 2008 (3,842). These youth were mostly male (92 percent) and older teens—more than half were ages 16 or 17.

Duren Banks coordinated the development of the Compendium of Tribal Crime Data, 2011 (NCJ 234459). Tribal Crime Data Collection Activities (NCJ 234518) was written by Duren Banks, Steven W. Perry and Allina Lee. Tribal Law Enforcement, 2008 (NCJ 234217) was written by Brian A. Reaves. State Prosecutors' Offices with Jurisdiction in Indian Country, 2007 (NCJ 234241) was written by Steven W. Perry, Ron Malega, and Duren Banks. Summary: Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System (NCJ 234218) was written by Mark Motivans and Howard Snyder. Selected Findings: Jails in Indian Country, 2009 (NCJ 232223) was written by Todd Minton. All are BJS authors. Following publication, the reports can be found at http://www.bjs.gov.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics' statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/28/3732907/new-justice-department-study-focuses.html

 

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