SCIA Passes Barrasso Bill to Reauthorize the Tribal Law and Order Act

Today, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) praised the committee’s passage of S. 2920, the Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2016. The act is cosponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

The act reauthorizes several provisions of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) of 2010. It deals with the needs of public safety in Indian Country by focusing on access to data sharing, coordination, and juvenile justice. The expense will now go to the complete Senate for factor to consider.

Reauthorizing and improving the Tribal Law and Order Act is an essential action toward empowering tribal courts and police, stated Chairman Barrasso. Our committee has actually heard testimony at a number of hearings that these actions are required. I wish to thank the members of the committee for passing the expense and will work to see it pass the complete Senate quickly.

S. 2920 will attend to public safety in Indian neighborhoods by:

Reauthorizing the Bureau of Prisons pilot program that allows particular tribally convicted persons to be held in the bureau’s facilities;

Improve interagency partnership by requiring the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services collaborate to reduce recidivism and for the Department of Justice to discover incentives for intergovernmental cooperation;

Reauthorizing police and judicial training for investigation and prosecution of unlawful narcotics and the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse;

Needing the attorney general to share reports from the federal criminal info database with the affected Indian tribe;

Making it possible for tribes to have access to federal background-check info, in addition to information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics;

26s3Making permanent the Shadow Wolves drug-trafficking-prevention program within the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Directing the administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to consult with Indian tribes biannually on strengthening government-to-government relationships and improving justice for Indian youth; Directing the comptroller basic to submit a baseline report to Congress on Indian youth in juvenile justice systems, centers for Indian youth, federal company coordination, and existing programs;

Improving justice for Indian youth by needing notification to people when a member youth enters a state or regional justice system, needing tribal participation on advisory groups, collaborating services for tribal youth, and including tribal standard or cultural programs which decrease recidivism as licensed activities for federal financing; and.

Developing tribal liaisons and special assistant federal public protectors, similar to the intermediaries and special assistant U.S lawyers in the United States attorney’s workplaces.

Background

In 2010, Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act. It was included into the Indian Arts and Crafts Act Amendments, and became law that year. It was a primary step towards enhancing the performance and effectiveness of criminal justice systems in Indian Country.

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On March 31, 2015, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a field oversight hearing on “Addressing the Harmful Effects of Dangerous Drugs in Native Communities.” The hearing was held in Ethete, Wyo., on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

On July 15, 2015, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on “Juvenile Justice in Indian Country: Challenges and Promising Strategies.”

On July 29, 2015, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on “Examining the True Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Native Communities.”

On Dec. 2, 2015, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on the Tribal Law and Order Act 5 Years Later: How have the justice systems in Indian Country improved?

On Feb. 25, 2016, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a public roundtable on the Tribal Law and Order Act 5 Years Later: Next Steps to Improving Justice Systems in Indian Communities.