Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $749,818)
The Department of Justice developed a comprehensive and coordinated approach for tribal governments to apply for funding to reduce and prevent crime and victimization. Through this process, the Department's existing tribal government-specific programs are included in, and available through, a single Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). Through this solicitation, only one application was accepted from each federally recognized tribe to encourage comprehensive assessments of need and planning. Each tribe could apply for funding under up to nine purpose areas, which included funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS), Office of Justice Programs (including BJA, Office for Victims of Crime, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), and Office on Violence Against Women. The tribe had the flexibility to select the purpose areas whose funding addressed the needs of the tribe as outlined in its tribal and community profile. There were nine purpose areas in total, and purpose area 3 was dedicated to Justice Systems, and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention.
The purpose of the Justice Systems, and Alcohol and Substance Abuse (JSASA) Program is to: prevent and reduce alcohol- and substance abuse-related crimes; identify, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who illegally transport, distribute, and abuse alcohol and controlled substances in Tribal communities; increase coordination with relevant non-Tribal agencies and organizations and among all levels of the Tribe; implement Tribal justice system interventions for substance abusing offenders, including drug courts or co-occurring drug and mental health courts, the provision of substance abuse and other treatment in correctional facilities, and the provision of treatment, aftercare, and other reentry supportive services to offenders reentering communities from correctional facilities; integrate Tribal, federal, state, and local services and culturally appropriate treatment for offenders and their families; increase the capacity to collect and share justice system data on drug- and alcohol-related offenses; and protect children from alcohol and drug use and/or production. JSASA funds can also be used to develop and enhance the operation of Tribal justice systems; train Tribal justice staff; plan new or enhance existing various Tribal courts, such as peacemaking courts, healing to wellness courts, sentencing circles, and other alternative justice courts, and support diversion programs, Tribal probation services, and alternative dispute resolution methods.
The grantee will use award funds to hire critical positions including the Tribal Court Administrator, the Circle Coordinator, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Coordinator. These positions will help the tribe to fulfill its role as a parallel model of justice for the Alaska Native American Indian community as expressed in Alaska State legislation, such as SB 91, which specifically identifies Tribal Courts as positive, productive features of the judicial landscape.