Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $892,682)
The Mescalero Apache Tribe (the Tribe) is a federally recognized Indian tribe with its reservation located in the south-central portion of the state of New Mexico. The Tribe proposes to create and operate a Mescalero Apache peacemaker court as part of its judicial system, with the Mescalero Reservation comprising the jurisdiction and service area for that court. The proposed peacemaker court will work to remedy this failure and reduce recidivism by providing non-adversarial dispute resolution through Apache culture, language, beliefs, and values. The Tribe would use CTAS funding to develop the planning and implementation of the tribal peacemaker’s court, which would include developing a framework for the cooperation and coordination of services with other tribal programs, departments, and agencies. The Tribe would also research, review, and revise the Tribal Code to provide for the establishment of the tribal peacemaker’s court and incorporate the use of more tribal customs and traditions in place of existing sentencing guidelines. Finally, the Tribe would implement the Peacemaker Court Program and actively hear cases with the intent of resolving underlying issues that create the problem or offense, as well as work through a restorative healing process with the individual parties, families, and the community.