Since research indicates that Native American persons experience crime victimization at higher rates than non-Native people and the unique position of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes as both sovereign nations and domestic dependents of the U.S. creates jurisdictional complexities in responding to crime, justice, and safety, in this podcast episode, senior social and behavioral scientist Christine (Tina) Crossland discusses the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) research on these issues.
Crossland notes that NIJ has supported and directed research and evaluation related to tribal crime, justice, and safety since the 1980s. This has included efforts to obtain accurate data on the crime and violence occurring in tribal communities. Such research has been conducted with the involvement of tribal leaders and members. Some examples of these projects included a study that examined gender-based violence interventions at tribal colleges and universities, an investigation to address violence toward youth and young adults and indigenous communities, a project to investigate the effectiveness of trauma-informed healing initiatives implemented by tribal courts, an investigation to explore the barriers to reporting and investigating missing American Indian and Alaska Native people, and a project that’s inspecting risk assessments and technology used in Indian and tribal courts. In addition, a project is being funded that will examine the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and whether medical examiner’s and coroner’s offices are complying with those regulations.