Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $150,000)
This award is made under the FY 2008 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.
Nooksack Indian Tribe will utilize FY 2008 Tribal Courts Assistance funds to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of the tribal court. The tribal court's caseload will increase due to the recent implementation of an alternative sentencing program for juveniles and the transfer of all child support caseloads involving Nooksack children from the State of Washington to Nooksack Indian Tribe on April 2008. Due to the increasing caseload, hiring additional part-time staff is necessary. The primary goals of the project are to provide tribal members with fair court hearings; enhance the Tribal Court Alternative Sentencing Program; and improve tribal court records and hearings. The objectives are to hire a part-time public advocate to provide free legal services to defendants, therefore allowing all defendants to receive a fair hearing; implement a juvenile alternative sentencing program, that will be facilitated by a part-time juvenile counselor who will act as a liaison between the juvenile, prosecutor, and elders group; and purchase recording/visual equipment that will improve the quality and reliability of tribal court documentation. The tribal court will hire a part-time project coordinator who will be responsible for coordinating programmatic reporting, ensuring grant activity compliance, and monitoring outcomes and data collection activities.