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WRPT Tribal Justice Systems - Wellness Court

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $897,205)

Purpose Area 3 Abstract       

In 2021, the Walker River Paiute Tribe completed a funding needs analysis that surveyed 1,863 members of the Tribe. Community members prioritized building the infrastructure to enhance government services, including public safety, the tribal justice system, and associated social services for responding to and preventing crime. Community members described a range of government services, including community justice and social services that would support youth re-entering the community after treatment programs or involvement in the justice system, and help for survivors of crime.

The proposed project includes growing Tribal Court services to include a wellness court that addresses alcohol and substance abuse with a culturally responsive team-based approach. This is an integral part of a comprehensive tribal justice system that includes increasing the Tribal Police force and expanding the physical Tribal Court facility through a permanent modular building.

Primary activities include adding sessions each month for the Tribal Judge to preside over wellness court cases, hiring a Tribal Court Officer to maintain law and order while court is in session and supervise drug tests, hiring a Court Administrator to ensure efficient and culturally responsive court operations, hiring an Assistant Court Clerk to support processing case files, retaining a Court Clerk to process fees and maintain court records, and retaining a Probation Services Coordinator to support individuals who were recently incarcerated, coordinate community service hours, and conduct community outreach. As part of the Tribe’s comprehensive tribal justice system, the Tribe will expand the Tribal Court facility through a permanent modular building and will hire entry-level sworn officers.

Products and deliverables include an increased number of court-based services compared to baseline numbers pre-award, additional court sessions each month for hearing civil, criminal, traffic, and wellness cases, local probation services, culturally responsive community service hours on the Walker Paiute Reservation, and community outreach regarding resources that help divert individuals from the criminal justice system.

The service area for the comprehensive tribal justice system is the Walker River Paiute Reservation, located in a rural area within three counties in rural Midwestern Nevada (Mineral, Lyon, Churchill counties) about 100 miles southeast of Reno. Approximately 1,200 tribal residents within the Reservation boundaries will be the primary beneficiaries of the proposed project, but the tribe has a population of more than 2,400 people who will also benefit from an expanded and comprehensive tribal justice system.

Date Created: September 21, 2022