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The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Court Enhancement Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $274,536)

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 Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma currently operates a tribal court that serves a target population exceeding 32,600 Native Americans. The Tribal Court hears misdemeanor criminal offenses and civil cases and provides Native Americans participating in the court with culturally-appropriate justice services. Since its inception, the tribal court system has experienced a high rate of growth, resulting in overcrowding of the tribal district and supreme courts. Due to the court's increasing caseload, the Chickasaw Nation must re-locate judicial services to a new and larger facility that is scheduled to be operational in 2007. The new courthouse facility must also be furnished with office and computer equipment, supplies, and furniture. The Chickasaw Nation will utilize the 2006 TCAP award to enhance its tribal court capacity by expanding its service area to more Native Americans within the 13-county Chickasaw Nation jurisdictional territory.

Specific project goals include: (1) developing and implementing a strategy to reach more Native Americans in the jurisdictional service area; (2) strengthen cooperative relationships between the Nation's judicial system and State judicial system and providing training in tribal sovereignty; (3) establish additional offices in the new Chickasaw Nation Courthouse for advocacy, legal council, conference and court clerk duties, and additional lobby/waiting room space; and (4) provide additional training to court personnel during the next two years. Federal funds will cover personnel salaries and fringe (deputy court clerk); travel (judicial, court clerk, and substance abuse trainings); office equipment; office supplies (furniture, computer and printing equipment, and cultural pieces); consultant fees (court advocacy services and training expenses); and indirect expenses.


Date Created: August 15, 2006