DOJ: Transcript of remarks at tribal consultation conference
Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012
"It is an honor to join all of you today to discuss our shared goal of ensuring tribal justice and public safety, which are top priorities for the Department of Justice. It was vitally important for me to be here today, because these issues are essential to the quality of life for the men, women, and children in Indian country.
The Department of Justice has an important legal and moral responsibility to prosecute violent crime in Indian country, because under current law, in much of Indian country, we alone have the authority to seek an appropriate sentence when a serious crime has been committed. Our role as the sole prosecutor for serious violent crime makes our responsibility to citizens in Indian country unique, and we take it seriously.
Early in this Administration, the Attorney General launched a Department-wide initiative to improve tribal justice and public safety. He knew that to be effective in this area, we would need to begin immediately, and we would need sustained focus. Many tribal nations face significant public safety challenges, and are struggling to combat staggering rates of violent crime with inadequate resources. When high levels of violent crime go unaddressed, the effects on daily life can be devastating. A lack of public safety and effective law enforcement harms families and children. It can make attending school – or even taking a walk – a frightening experience. A lack of public safety and effective law enforcement holds back business development and drives away the economic opportunities that are badly needed to create a brighter future."
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Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole Speaks at the 2012 Tribal Consultation Conference
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