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Continuing to Improve the Operations of the Pueblo of Sandia''s Traditional Tribal Court

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $183,000)

This award is made under the FY 2006 Tribal Courts Assistance Program and it supports the development, implementation, enhancement, and continuing operation of tribal justice systems. Allowable elements under the program may include, but are not limited to: establishing a core structure for a tribal court, improving case management, training court personnel, acquiring additional equipment and/or software, enhancing prosecution and indigent defense, supporting probation diversion and alternative sentencing programs, accessing services, focusing on juvenile services and multi disciplinary protocols for child physical and sexual abuse, and structuring intertribal or tribal appellate systems.

The Pueblo of Sandia is a sovereign nation consisting of less than 500 members and is located north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Pueblo maintains a 'traditional court' that has jurisdiction over Native Americans living within the boundaries of the Pueblo and whose operational funding is supported by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and [other] tribal resources. As a tribal government institution, most cases heard by the tribal court are misdemeanors; however, the court hears cases involving contracts and property disputes, in which negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are used as alternative forms of conflict resolution. The court's fundamental practices are based on evolving traditions, where disputes between community members are resolved using cultural values and customs.

Over the past several years, the Pueblo of Sandia has witnessed an increase in crimes (including violent) that are related to alcohol and substance abuse. As these types of offenses are devastating to the community, the Pueblo strives to search for alternative methods in crime prevention. The Pueblo of Sandia will utilize the 2006 TCAP award to improve its tribal court's traditional operations and address the growing truancy problem within and outside the reservation by implementing the following goals: (1) Integrate a 'Healing to Wellness Court' that will provide culturally-based (alcohol and substance abuse) rehabilitation, treatment, and youth development services, evaluate existing codes for possible revisions, and develop a standard court operation handbook and [client] policy and procedures manual; (2) improve case management by providing updated 'Full Court' database training to court personnel and establish evaluation data elements to ensure proper program assessment; (3) enhance probation services by increasing the number of community-based [client] resources and improved [probation] officer trainings; and (4) ensure proper mental, physical, or emotional assessment protocols for youth entering the court system.

Federal funds will cover BJA sponsored trainings; computer equipment (computer, software, and licenses); office supplies; drug testing kits and devices; consultant services (family and child psychologist services; and social responsibility training fee, travel, and workbooks); contractual fees (program evaluation); and probation officer training (airfare and lodging expenses).


Date Created: September 10, 2006