Indian Law & Order Commission to Discuss Indian Justice System Reforms

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Image: indianlawandordercommission.com

Problems with the Indian justice system will be discussed by a federally mandated advisory panel this week at the Talking Stick Hotel on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Law enforcement on Native American lands, from arrest to sentencing, remains unequal and less effective than that found in non-Indian jurisdictions, despite a two-year-old federal law intended to make reforms.

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 focuses on helping reduce domestic violence against women, which occurs on reservations at several times the national average, and expands both federal oversight and the powers of tribal courts: "Special Assistant US Attorneys will be deputized under the Act to prosecute reservation crimes in Federal courts, and tribes will be given greater authority to hold perpetrators accountable."

The law also created the Indian Law & Order Commission, now touring the country and meeting with various local officials.

Commissioners are scheduled to inspect the Salt River tribe's detention facilities tomorrow morning, then attend various hearings through Friday.

The Department of Justice is funding the tour.

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Image: whitehouse.gov
Lisa Marie Lyotte and President Obama at the signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.

Lack of prosecutions, harsh sentences for juveniles and rank corruption plague the Indian lands. Native Americans, both crime victims and criminals, suffer the most under the system. Federal sentences for Indian juveniles are "about twice as long as those imposed under state court" due to the lack of a separate juvenile justice system, according to a column last spring by Troy Eid, a former Colorado U.S. Attorney and current Indian Law & Order Commission member.

The fact that vehicles are being seized on the Loop 101 for minor pot possession shows how injustices in the system can also zap non-Indians.

Commission members have several more events through this summer, then will report to Congress with their findings.

We asked the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office for comment about the Talking Stick event. Here's the reply:


The US Attorney's office recognizes the importance of these Field Hearings.

Acting US Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel will attend as an observer. The purpose of these hearings is to get input from tribal officials, community members, state law enforcement--those who are not part of the federal system.


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4 comments
Boston, MA probate
Boston, MA probate

The information you shared in the post is very informative for me. I was not aware of the many facts. I am glad I visited here and come to know about it. I have gathered a huge knowledge being here.

liberal forever
liberal forever

its bush who is behind this and he blames president obomo. the reservation has the best pot this side of nepal. been getting hi a long time since high school. cops not make it easy for me to score. the bros in the hood sell me kentucky blue gtass...and i no not get a buzz...week stuff. drugs must be mad e legal so get out today and vote for president obomo

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

they can start by not impounding and confiscating people's cars who drive on teh 101 with a little pot in their car, esp if they have mm cards.

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