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Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Healing to Wellness Court

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $877,477)

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 eight 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 eight purpose areas in total, and Purpose Area 3 was dedicated to Tribal Justice Systems, and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention. The purpose of the Tribal Justice Systems (TJS) Program is to support a range of activities that may include: the prevention and reduction of alcohol and substance abuse-related crimes; the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of individuals who illegally transport, distribute, and abuse alcohol and controlled substances in Tribal communities; an increased coordination with relevant non-Tribal agencies and organizations and among all levels of the Tribe; the implementation of 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; the integration of Tribal, Federal, state, and local services and culturally appropriate treatment for offenders and their families; an increase of capacity to collect and share justice system data on drug- and alcohol-related offenses; and the protection of children from alcohol and drug use and/or production. The TJS Program also supports the development and enhancement of Tribal justice system operations; training of Tribal justice staff; planning of new or enhancement of existing various Tribal courts, such as peacemaking courts, healing to wellness courts, sentencing circles, and other alternative justice courts; and to support diversion programs, Tribal probation services, and alternative dispute resolution methods. With this funding, the Band’s Court of Central Jurisdiction will plan and establish a culturally based Tribal Healing to Wellness Court, Noojimo’wgamig Inaawanidiwag (Healing Journey). This project’s goals are to: (1) reduce the recidivism rate for substance-use related offenses through more effective treatment delivery, improved coordination of recovery resources, increased accountability, and greater tribal community support; (2) better meet the needs of drug-endangered children by instituting court processes that allow for tribal-county collaboration on cases in which a Band member parent is involved in Pine or Mille Lacs County criminal cases and his or her child is simultaneously the subject of a Mille Lacs Band child protection case; (3) reduce the number of Band infants suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome; and (4) curtail the reoccurrence of single Band-family child protection cases. CA/NCF

Date Created: October 22, 2020