The Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Assault and Engage Men and Boys as Allies (hereafter referred to as the Consolidated Youth Program) was enacted in the FY 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 appropriation acts, which consolidated four previously authorized and appropriated programs into one comprehensive program. The four programs included in the FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, and FY 2015 consolidations were: Services to Advocate for and Respond to Youth (Youth Services), Grants to Assist Children and Youth Exposed to Violence (CEV), Engaging Men and Youth in Preventing Domestic Violence (EMY), and Supporting Teens through Education and Prevention (STEP). The Consolidated Youth Program supports projects designed to provide coordinated community responses that support child, youth and young adult victims through direct services, training, coordination and collaboration, effective intervention, treatment, response, and prevention strategies. The Consolidated Youth Program creates a unique opportunity for communities to increase collaboration among non-profit victim service providers; violence prevention, and children (0-10), youth (11-18), young adult (19-24) and men-serving organizations; tribes and tribal governments; local government agencies; schools; and programs that support men’s role in combating sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Eligible Applicants: Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments), County governments, City or township governments, Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, and Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized). Current Closing Date for Applications: January 19, 2016.
Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Assault and Engage Men and Boys as Allies
U.S. Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation – The Department of Justice launched its Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) in Fiscal Year 2010 in direct response to concerns raised by tribal leaders about the Department’s grant process that did not provide the flexibility tribes needed to address their criminal justice and public safety needs. In Fiscal Year 2015 awarded CTAS grants to 206 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal consortia and tribal designees. The grants will provide more than $98 million to enhance law enforcement practices and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts in nine purpose areas including public safety and community policing; justice systems planning; alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; violence against women; juvenile justice; and tribal youth programs. Current Closing Date for Applications: February 23, 2016.
(From Indianz November 11, 2015) – The Obama administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a domestic violence case that is generating interest across Indian Country.American Indian and Alaska Native women already face high rates of violence in their communities. Unless the high court takes action, the Department of Justice is warning that they could be terrorized even more by repeat offenders.”Domestic violence against Indians is a pressing problem of alarming magnitude,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. wrote in a petition to the court. “More than forty percent of Indians have been victims of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.”To address the issue, Congress took a hard line against people like Michael Bryant Jr., who has been convicted of domestic violence by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe at least seven times. Under 18 U.S.C. § 117, he would considered a “habitual offender” because the law recognizes his tribal record.
But Byrant was never provided with an attorney in tribal court, something that would have violated his rights under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in any other venue. So his convictions can’t be used against him, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined.”We agree that Bryant’s prior tribal court domestic abuse convictions would have violated the Sixth Amendment had they been obtained in state or federal court,” Judge Richard Paez wrote in a 2-1 decision from September 2014.The 9th Circuit’s ruling conflicts with ones from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The three circuits cover a vast swath of Indian Country so the split poses a significant issue that only the high court can resolve.”Of the 567 federally recognized tribes, more than 500 are located in the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits,” DOJ’s brief reads. “This court should grant certiorari to ensure that habitual domestic violence offenders with tribal court convictions are treated the same way under Section 117(a) no matter where they reside.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, refused to treat him as a repeat offender under federal law because he wasn’t provided with an attorney in tribal court.
The case is still in the early review stages — DOJ filed the petition on October 7 and Bryant responded in opposition on November 4. He’s being represented by federal public defenders because he lacks sufficient resources to hire his own legal team. Normally, tribes and their advocates don’t want the Supreme Court to hear Indian law cases because the justices tend to rule against their interests. But the National Congress of American Indians, the largest inter-tribal organization, supports DOJ’s petition. “I think it’s extremely likely that it will be accepted,” NCAI’s general counsel John Dossett said of the case at the organization’s annual convention in San Diego, California, last month. NCAI filed a brief on November 5 to urge the Supreme Court to resolve the circuit split in favor of the federal government.“These women’s lives are in danger,” Dossett told tribal leaders. “When you get a repeat offender, it’s a real problem.”As one example, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington prosecuted nine domestic violence defendants who were the subject of more than 100 police calls between 2008 and 2014. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona had 15 defendants with 84 law enforcement contacts. Both tribes fall in the 9th Circuit. “These men have just drained our tribal resources,” Tulalip Tribes attorney Michelle Demmert said at a DOJ event in Washington, D.C., on October 7, held in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The last federal Indian criminal case heard by the Supreme Court was US v. Lara. In April 2004, the justices held that tribes can exercise criminal jurisdiction over “all Indians” and not just their own members.
The 7-2 decision was significant because it affirmed the power of Congress to address the unique criminal justice issues facing tribes. DOJ is framing the new case, US v. Bryant, in a similar manner in hopes of overturning the 9th Circuit’s decision. “Contrary to the Ninth Circuit’s decision in this case, nothing in the Constitution prohibits Congress’s judgment that prior tribal- court misdemeanor convictions, whether or not they were counseled and whether or not they resulted in imprisonment, support a recidivist prosecution under Section 117(a),” the brief states.DOJ will be submitting one more brief before the Supreme Court considers the petition at a closed-door conference, sometime in the coming months. If the justices agree to hear the case, another round of briefs will be filed.9th Circuit Decisions:
US v. Bryant (July 6, 2015)
US v. Bryant (September 30, 2014)8th Circuit Decision:
US v. Cavanaugh (July 6, 2011)10th Circuit Decision:
US v. Shavanaux (July 26, 2011)
A Call for Better Data on American Indian Communities
By Sam Schulhofer-Wohl and Richard M. Todd1
(Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis – November 5, 2015) – Among public health experts, it is well known that persistently high mortality (death) rates prevail in certain regions of the United States, such as portions of the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia. However, a similar but less noted pattern of persistently high mortality rates prevails in a band of counties in the Northern Plains and Midwest that have a high share of residents who are American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) and who live on Indian reservations.2 We think this persistent pattern calls for better data and more attention from public health experts and policymakers.
We base our views on an analysis of county mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The statistics describe the overall mortality rate for an entire county; that is, for all individuals in the county, of any race, whether they live on a reservation or not. We average mortality rates over ten-year periods to smooth out random year-to-year variation. Equivalent mortality statistics are not available for reservations alone, so we focus on 30 counties in the contiguous 48 states that have high shares of both AIAN residents and reservation residents.3
Among these 30 counties are several where overall mortality rates have been consistently far above the national average for decades. For example, for four decades since the late 1960s, the age-adjusted mortality rate4 for women (of all races) in American Indian-dominated Menominee County, Wis., has ranged between the highest and fourth-highest among all counties in the 48 states. The county’s mortality rate for men also has ranked in the top 10 percent of counties over this period. Other counties with a moderate to very high AIAN presence and high mortality rates recently and for all or most of this period lie primarily in the Northern Plains area. As shown in the accompanying table, they include Rolette and Sioux counties in North Dakota; Thurston County in Nebraska; Big Horn, Glacier, and Roosevelt counties in Montana; and Buffalo, Corson, Dewey (especially for males), Shannon, and Todd counties in South Dakota. As shown in the map below, these counties, along with Menominee in Wisconsin, constitute a regional cluster of rural, racially concentrated counties whose persistently high death rates parallel those in the more widely recognized Mississippi Delta and Appalachian areas of high mortality.
The rankings above are based on age-adjusted mortality rates for the entire population, by gender. However, other mortality indicators also are generally high in this cluster of counties, including mortality by specific age ranges (e.g., children, teens, young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults) or after statistically controlling for factors such as poverty and population density. Furthermore, so-called non-natural causes of death (e.g., accidents, suicide, murder, and poisoning), although often occurring at a high rate in these counties, are not the primary cause of the high overall death rates. Rates of death by natural causes are persistently quite high in most of the counties in this high-mortality cluster.
These statistics paint a sobering picture of lives cut short in several counties in the Northern Plains and Wisconsin where AIAN and reservation populations are high. At the same time, other similarly AIAN-influenced counties in that region and elsewhere across the 48 states have much lower mortality rates, sometimes well below the national average.
These large differences among counties with a high AIAN and reservation presence suggest that there may be conditions or best practices in the low-mortality AIAN communities that could be replicated to reduce mortality rates in other AIAN communities. This will require a better understanding of why mortality rates are so high in some AIAN communities and yet quite low in others. A critical first step would be to create more geographically precise data on health and mortality specifically for American Indian reservations and other communities with high AIAN populations. With better data leading to better research and a deeper understanding of public health challenges and best practices, perhaps the pattern of certain AIAN-dominated counties consistently ranking as mortality hotspots can be broken.
1 Sam Schulhofer-Wohl (email: Samuel [dot] Schulhofer-Wohl [at] mpls.frb.org) is Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Richard M. Todd (email: dick [dot] todd [at] mpls.frb.org) is Vice President in Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Advisor to the Bank’s Center for Indian Country Development. The views expressed here are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis or the Federal Reserve System.
2 Using data from the 2010 decennial census, we define a county as having a very high AIAN presence if at least 74 percent of the residents identify as AIAN (alone or in combination with other races) and also at least 74 percent reside on an Indian reservation. Additional counties where at least 49 percent identify as AIAN and 49 percent reside on a reservation are labeled as having a high AIAN presence, and a further group of counties where at least 25 percent identify as AIAN and 25 percent reside on a reservation are labeled as having a moderate AIAN presence. As shown in the accompanying table, we examine 7 counties with a very high AIAN presence, 12 with a high presence, and 11 with a moderate presence.
3 A separate summary of our findings, presented at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum on June 28, 2015, is available at http://www.ncai.org/policy-research-center/initiatives/tribal-leader-scholar-forum.
4 Our age-adjusted mortality rates include mortality data for individuals of all ages but are adjusted for each age group’s share of the population, so that rates can be meaningfully compared across counties with very different percentages of young, middle-aged, and older individuals.
On December 7, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Dollar General case. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) and the Monument Quilt Project will join together in front of the Supreme Court carrying quilt squares of the Monument Quilt.
“NIWRC and the Monument Quilt Project will walk in support of safety for Native women and sovereignty of Indian nations,” said Cherrah Giles, Board President, NIWRC. “We ask everyone to join our effort to oppose Dollar General. Non-Indian corporations and sex predators must be held accountable. Race should not be a license to prey on Native women and children.”
“We invite those concerned about justice and safety of Native women to create a quilt square to share their support for justice and stories of survival,” said Rebecca Nagle, Co-director of FORCE Monument Quilt Project. “Contribute your quilt square to the growing Monument Quilt. Let us walk together on December 7 and call on the Supreme Court for justice for Native women and children.”
***Mail your quilt square by December 1, 2015, to:
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, Shame on Dollar General Campaign
2315 Homewood Ave., Baltimore, MD 21218
Please add a note stating the quilt square is being made to support Native women in the ”Dollar General case.”
Link to the full announcement here
Directions on how to make the quilt square here
Department of Justice Announces 10 Tribes to Participate in Initial Phase of Tribal Access Program to Improve Exchange of National Crime Information
The User Feedback Phase will grant access to national crime information databases and technical support to the following tribes: the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation of Washington, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla of Oregon and the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation of Arizona.
“This innovative program will allow an unprecedented sharing of critical information between tribal, state and federal governments, information that could help solve a crime or even save someone’s life,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates. “This initial phase of TAP will help us understand the information gaps and the best ways to use this service to strengthen public safety in Indian country. The TAP program is a reflection of the Justice Department’s commitment to the government-to-government relationship, to overcoming barriers, and building strong partnerships with American Indian and Alaska Native people. The department will continue to work with Congress for additional funding to more broadly deploy the program.”
TAP will support tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information and help provide appropriate solutions, including a state-of-the-art biometric/biographic computer workstation with capabilities to process finger and palm prints, take mugshots and submit records to national databases, as well as the ability to access the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) systems for criminal and civil purposes through the Department of Justice. TAP will also provide specialized training and assistance for participating tribes.
This initial phase, funded by the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) and supported with technical assistance from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, will focus on assisting tribes that have law enforcement agencies. In the future, the department will seek to address the needs of the remaining tribes and find a long-term solution.
While in the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 Congress required the Attorney General to ensure that tribal officials that meet applicable requirements be permitted access to national crime information databases, the ability of tribes to fully participate in national criminal justice information sharing via state networks has been dependent upon various regulations, statutes and policies of the states in which a tribe’s land is located. Therefore, improving access for tribal law enforcement to federal crime information databases has been a departmental focus for several years. In 2010, the department instituted two pilot projects, one biometric and one biographic, to improve informational access for tribes. The biographic pilot continues to serve more than 20 tribal law enforcement agencies.
Departments of Justice and Interior Working Group
In 2014, the Departments of Justice and the Interior (DOI) formed a working group to assess the impact of the pilots and identify long-term sustainable solutions that address both criminal and civil needs of tribes. The outcome of this collaboration was the TAP, as well as an additional program by the DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that provides tribes with national crime information prior to making child placement decisions in emergency circumstances. Under the BIA Purpose Code X Program, social service agencies of federally recognized tribes will be able to view criminal history information accessed through BIA’s Office of Justice Services, which will conduct name-based checks in situations where parents are unable to care for their children.
For more information on TAP, visit: www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.
For more information about the Justice Department’s work on tribal justice and public safety issues, visit: www.justice.gov/tribal.
For more information about the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, visit: www.indianaffairs.gov/
After passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, House and Senate Appropriators are speedily rewriting the spending bills. We are hearing that VOCA spending may be cut from last year’s $2.36 billion to $1.2 billion for FY 2016, in part because members of Congress “don’t think states can spend the money!”
Call or email your members of Congress IMMEDIATELY!
Let them know:
- What last year’s VOCA increase has meant to victims in your program, your community, and your state. Are new services offered or planned? Gaps being filled? Organizations collaborating to reach those previously underserved?
- What a cut would mean to your program, your community, and your state.
ASK THEM to speak to leadership and the members of the appropriations committees to stress the importance of keeping the VOCA cap high.
To reach your Representative and Senator:
Find your Senators and Representative; enter your full nine-digit zip code for the best results. You will be taken to their contact info, including phone number. Tell them you are a constituent!
You can also call the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Choose Representative and then enter your zip code to be transferred. When you are done leaving a message for your Representative, call back and follow the same process to leave messages for your Senators.
The National Center for Victims of Crime appreciates all that you do to support victims of crime. Let’s join together on this important issue to maintain VOCA disbursements at FY 2015 levels!