Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
The poor social determinants of health in the Menominee Community lead to adverse health outcomes and behaviors that increase the prevalence of crime. Due to high levels of poverty in the community, a vast majority of criminal cases at the Menominee Tribal Courts are not represented by an attorney. In 2018, the Menominee Tribe’s Tribal Strategic Justice Plan set forth goals to build necessary infrastructure enhancements for the Tribal Justice System that protect individuals and promote accountability. To address injustice for unrepresented individuals, the Tribe will strengthen the Tribal Justice System through the continuation of the Menominee Public Defender’s Office. To fulfill this goal within the five-year grant period, the Menominee Public Defender’s Office will provide criminal legal defense for at least 300 cases charged in the Menominee Tribal Court System, connect with local resources, and forge new partnerships to expand outreach and resources for clients (participating in 5 community events and creating 1 new partnership), and gather program feedback from clientele and the Menominee community for program evaluation.