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Tribal Justice, Tribal Court: Strengthening Tribal Justice Systems Using Restorative Approaches

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $99,969)

This project proposes a new tribal-researcher partnership involving faculty from the University of Hawai’i and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Court. Tribal courts have an immense responsibility to ensure the safety and continued welfare of tribal citizens. There is great variety of legal systems that tribal nations have developed. Some tribal nations have separate peacemaking branches that rely on traditional dispute resolution while others follow a justice model that mirrors the U.S. judicial system. This research explores the question of when and how judges at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Court incorporate restorative justice elements in their sentencing decisions, diversionary orders, and other legal orders in the criminal law context. The results of this research can be used to inform tribal policymakers in the criminal justice environment and also support tribal resource allocation decisions. The applicant proposes to describe best practices to be shared with the larger tribal justice community. Research results may also apply to the surrounding state legal system by highlighting ways to incorporate restorative justice into their decisions and furthering intergovernmental cooperation in the shared administration of justice, especially in Public Law 280 states.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 12, 2019