Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
This grant application represents an opportunity for CTAS to directly support a high priority area of this year’s CTAS solicitation: addressing a lack of law enforcement and core tribal justice services for remote tribes. With this grant, CTAS also will support two additional high priority areas: addressing murdered or missing indigenous persons (MMIP) and implementation of the VAWA 2013 and the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction. These grant funds will provide the Yurok Tribe Office of the Tribal Prosecutor with the financial resources it needs to enable the chief prosecutor and deputy prosecutor to work with the newly hired MMIP Investigator. In addition to overseeing the investigative work in cases of MMIP, the chief prosecutor and deputy prosecutor work on such vital functions as: asserting special tribal criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the Violence Against Women’s Act 2022; litigating violations of tribal code in tribal court; litigating exclusions referred by tribal council; advocating for changes in policy that contribute to the MMIP crisis; and working closely with local, state, and federal partners to increase public safety more broadly in the tribal community. The problem this grant application will address is the need for start-up support to grow and expand the Yurok Tribe Office of the Tribal Prosecutor, a department that was newly created only 2 years ago, is already taking on all the essential functions required of its place in the tribal justice system, and is expanding at an accelerated pace.