Tribal law enforcement agencies are well-positioned to engage with tribal members in helping to identify and solve safety problems. In many tribal communities, tribal law enforcement has tested new and innovative justice ideas. Together, federal, state, and tribal government agencies are working to improve safety in Indian Country.
In October 2017, the Department of Justice announced more than $130 million in funding awards to American Indian and Alaska Native communities to improve public safety, support programs for juveniles, and enhance services for victims.
Supporting law enforcement and victims in Indian Country is critical since adults in Indian Country have experienced violence at a far higher rate than the rest of the American population. Studies have shown that more than 80 percent of adults in Indian Country have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime.
With these high rates of violence among adults, youth in Indian Country are also at risk. Research has shown that native youth are 2.5 times more likely to experience trauma compared to their non-native peers.
Additionally, tribal youth are more likely than their white peers to be arrested, adjudicated, and incarcerated in juvenile justice systems across the United States. In fact, 60 percent of the federal juvenile justice population is made up of tribal youth.
For women in Indian Country, the prevalence of intimate partner abuse is substantial. Research from the National Institute of Justice shows that American Indian and Alaska Native women are significantly more likely than others to experience stalking and physical violence by an intimate partner. These women are also at a higher risk of being a victim of psychological aggression by a partner.
Across Indian Country, tribal services for crime victims vary widely. These services are sometimes located within tribal organizations that serve women and children, promote child and family welfare, and sponsor tribal community-based programming that focuses on safety and accountability. There are also tribes that sponsor coalitions to address violence against women and children and provide victim assistance services.
To learn more, select a page from the "Justice in Indian Country" box for information and resources produced or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and other federal agencies.