Cost of Tribal Crime Has Montana County Struggling
March 2, 2017
HELENA, Mont. (CN) – A federal law enacted more than 60 years ago as part of a push to assimilate Indian reservations in the United States has forced states and counties to pay millions to prosecute crimes committed by Native Americans, but states are finally starting to push back against the law.
In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill that enacted Public Law 280 – a federal law meant to help control crime on Indian reservations. Public Law 280 handed over to several states criminal and civil jurisdiction in Indian country. Six states were compelled to enter into the agreement: California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin and Alaska. There were 10 non-mandatory states that later opted in to Public Law 280: Nevada, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Washington state, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Arizona and Utah.