U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Native American Rights Fund/National Association of Indian Legal Services - Tribal Criminal Legal Assistance Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $515,940)

Authorized by 25 USC 3651, et seq., BJA's Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) grants serve to enhance operations of tribal court systems and improve access to those systems through legal services; and to support the development and enhancement of tribal justice systems. The FY 2013 TCCLA Program will support programs under three categories - 1) civil, 2) criminal, and 3) training and technical assistance. For Categories 1, Civil and 2, Criminal, eligible applicants were non-profit organizations with a tax status of 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Service Code, including tribal enterprises and educational institutions. The grants in categories 1 and 2 are designed to strengthen and improve the representation of indigent defendants in criminal cases and indigent respondents in civil causes of action under the jurisdiction of Indian tribes. For Category 3, TTA, eligible applicants were national or regional membership organizations and associations whose membership or a membership section consists of judicial system personnel within tribal justice systems. The awards are designed to provide quality training and technical assistance to develop and enhance tribal justice systems.

The award recipient will use the category two (criminal) funds to enhance the operations of tribal justice systems and improve access to those systems through the representation of defendents in criminal cases under the jurisdiction of Indian tribes and to provide legal representation to Tribes in criminal matters.

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) will use funds to provide legal assistance to Indian tribes to enhance tribal justice systems and improve access to justice in those systems. Indian tribes can now sentence criminal defendants up to three years, but they are required to provide safeguards to protect the rights of Indian defendants. NARF intends to subcontract the funds to the members of the National Association of Indian Legal Services (NAILS), who will provide direct services to Indian tribes and individuals. NAILS is a consortium of 24 non-profit Indian Legal Services programs that have a 45 year history of providing legal assistance to individual Indians and Indian tribes who meet the federal poverty guidelines. The NAILS programs will provide legal assistance to at least 1000 to 1200 individual Indian defendants in tribal courts, and engage Indian tribes in 30 projects for capacity building and TLOA activities. NAILS will work with Indian tribes in drafting tribal codes, policies and procedures. In addition, NAILS programs will conduct extensive outreach on the services to be provided under this grant.

Date Created: September 29, 2013