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The Tribal Court Improvement Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $250,000)

Purpose Area #3 Tribal Justice Systems (BJA)

The Havasupai Tribe (the "Tribe") os a federally recognized tribe located in Coconino County, Arizona.  With this funding, the Tribe will be able to better provide Tribal Court services to the Community by equipping and furnishing its Tribal Court and by employing a Bailiff/Probation Officer who will regulate in-person Tribal Court proceedings and supervise probationers, with a focus on juvenile probation.

For the first time in over 30 years, the Havasupai Tribe will have a new Court building.  The existing Tribal Court consists of one room with a closet that services both as a file room and the Judge’s chambers.  The Tribal Court has electrical issues, leaks and has been broken into many times.  The Tribal Court does not have a bailiff or security, and this causes safety concerns.  The lack of space also impedes the ability of criminal justice personnel to carry out their duties.  For example, the lack of an office or conference room forces the Public Defender to meet with clients outside under a tree or the nearby basketball court.  


In FY2018, the Tribe was able to secure funding to build a new Tribal Court.  Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2021.  The Tribe seeks funding under PA#3 to provide the new Tribal Court with the furniture and equipment needed to make the Tribal Court function.  The Tribe is also seeking funding to hire a Bailiff/Probation Officer.  The Bailiff will provide security for the Tribal Court and will supervise probationers when Court is not in session.  The Tribe does not currently have anyone who can supervise juvenile probationers and identify resources tailored to juvenile needs.

The Tribe is requesting funding in Purpose Areas #3 and #9.  The receipt of funding for each of these areas is not required for implementation of the other area.  However, because the Tribe’s application for both areas includes a focus on juveniles/youth, the Tribe believes funding both areas will be complementary.

Date Created: November 23, 2021