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The Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal Indian Law
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Senators seek increases for tribal justice programs
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Sens. Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle, both Democrats from South Dakota, are asking their colleagues to increase funding for Indian Country law enforcement programs.

Citing a rising crime rate and proposed funding cuts by the Bush administration, the two senators said increases were vital to public safety in Indian Country. "Tribal justice and law enforcement officials should not be forced to do more with less," said Johnson.  "We must provide the resources necessary to take violent crime head-on."

“Keeping our cities and towns in Indian country safe is critical to encouraging economic development and improving the quality of life in Native American communities," added Daschle. "It is critical that we provide tribal communities the resources they need to fight crime."

In a letter to Senate appropriators who control Department of Justice funds, Johnson and Daschle asked for the following funding levels:

COPS Indian Country Programs - $40 million
Indian Tribal Courts  - $10 million
Indian Tribal Justice Technical and Legal Assistance - $2 million
Tribal Youth Program - $15 million
Tribal Violence Against Women Act Programs  - $25 million
Alcohol and Crime Prevention - $5 million

While national rates are the lowest in years, crime on Indian lands continues to rise and violence against women, juvenile and gang crime, and child abuse remain serious problems.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that American Indians experience the highest crime victimization rates in the nation -– almost twice the national average.

Read the Letter:
Johnson, Daschle on Funding (March 22, 2004)

Related Stories:
FBI reports slight drop in violent crime in U.S. (10/28)
Ariz. reservation murder rate five times national (10/07)
IHS compiles domestic violence research (10/29)
Native youth victimization outpaces nation (07/17)
Natives top violent crime list again (4/8)
One in 10 hate crimes target American Indians (10/1)
DOJ: American Indians highest injured (6/25)
DOJ: Violent crime plagues Indian Country (3/19)
Violence in Indian Country (6/15)

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