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NCJ Number: 250397 Find in a Library
Title: Elder Panels: An Alternative to Incarceration for Tribal Members
Author(s): Kimberly A. Cobb
Corporate Author: American Probation and Parole Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: June 2014
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: American Probation and Parole Assoc
Lexington, KY 40578
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2009-AC-BX-K001
Sale Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This bulletin reviews how tribal elders, who traditionally are leaders in promoting tribal customs and traditions among American Indian tribes, can be used both formally and informally in diverting low-risk to medium-risk offenders to elder panels that determine case dispositions as alternatives to incarceration, and guidance is provided on establishing such panels.
Abstract: The most common models for diversionary justice programs are deferred prosecution and coercion-free. In deferred prosecution, judicial oversight is retained, so that if the individual fails to comply with the terms/conditions set by the elder panel he/she can be referred back to the tribal court for adjudication/sentencing. If the individual successfully completes the terms/conditions imposed by the elder panel, then the charges are typically removed from the record. In the coercion-free model, the charges are dismissed with the understanding that the individual will comply with the elder panel’s terms/conditions; however, because the charges are dismissed by the court, the risk of the case being referred back to the tribal court for non-compliance is removed. This model operates on the honor system. The tribal court may also use an elder panel as a stipulated condition of probation. In some tribal communities, elders on the panel are vested by tribal law to impose sentence in lieu of a tribal court judge. In this capacity, panel members may conduct hearings to determine appropriate dispositions or resolutions. Another beneficial way to involve elders in the tribal justice system is to assign them as mentors, who will share their knowledge and experience with individuals who may not have a sense of connection to the tribe and its behavioral and attitudinal customs. Guidance is provided for designing an elder panel program. A resource web site address is provided.
Main Term(s): Alternative court procedures
Index Term(s): Alternatives to Incarceration; BJA Grant-related Documents; BJA Resources; Cultural influences; Diversion models; Diversion programs; Tribal; Tribal Courts
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