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Tribal Court Enhancement Grant Category III

Award Information

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

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.

The Makah Tribe will use their Fiscal Year 2008 funds to enhance the operation of courts within the Makah Tribal Court system. Using data available from Makah Tribal Court Annual Reports, the grantee indicates a recent increase of 53% in cases filed by the Prosecutor's office. The change is attributed to increases in population and in alcohol and drug use resulting in crime, the full staffing of the Neah Bay Police Department, and the training provided to the tribal court staff. As a result, there is a need for an additional staff person--specifically a Deputy Prosecutor.

The Makah Tribe also will use the grant funds to standardize data collection methods. Currently, the Neah Bay Public Safety Department, the Makah Tribal Court, the Prosecutor, and the Public Defender are collecting and reporting data regarding criminal and civil cases to numerous agencies. However, the data has been collected inconsistently, creating the need for an accurate standardized method of tracking data for all justice programs.

Finally, the Makah Law and Order Code (MLOC) is outdated and not available in an electronic format. The MLOC was adopted by the Makah Tribal Council in 1989. Priorities for revision of the MLOC also include having both the Makah Law and Order Code and the Rules of the Court to coincide and compliment each other. The Rules of the Court have never been formally adopted; yet the MLOC makes several references to the Rules of the Court. To complete this task, the Makah Tribe will update the Rules of the Court and adopt accordingly.


Date Created: August 14, 2008