Washington, DC - The Department of Justice today announced that it will award 137 grants to 85 American Indian and Alaska Native communities, for a total of $73 million, to improve public safety and serve crime victims. The announcement was made during the White House Tribal Nations Summit taking place virtually today and tomorrow.
These funds are designed to help enhance tribal justice systems and strengthen law enforcement, improve the handling of child abuse cases, combat domestic violence and support tribal youth programs.
“The Justice Department is pleased to make the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation available to federally recognized tribes, providing a transparent and simple process to apply for grants that best align with their community’s needs,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “This one-step application makes it possible for tribes to access critical resources to help them meet the critical public safety needs of their communities.”
More than four in five of American Indian and Alaska Native adults have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This equates to nearly three million people who have experienced stalking, sexual violence, psychological aggression or physical violence by intimate partners.
“Each year, the department invests millions of dollars to help our Tribal partners confront the challenges of violent crime and domestic abuse in their communities and strengthen their public safety infrastructure,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. “We are pleased to support the critical work that Tribal nations are undertaking in communities across the country.”
More than $73 million will be awarded under CTAS, a streamlined application which helps tribes apply for tribal-specific grant programs that enhance law enforcement and tribal justice practices, expand victim services and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts. CTAS grants are administered by OJP ($48 million) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) ($25 million).
“These grants provide vital resources to Tribal law enforcement and their communities by offering equipment and training, along with resources to help officers understand and better serve their communities in areas of domestic abuse, stalking and sex trafficking, and alleviate the detrimental effects that substance abuse and crime have on individuals and their families,” said Acting Director Robert Chapman of the COPS Office
The COPS Office also awarded $400,000 to Western Oregon University to create a structured and tribal-centered innovative approach to enhance the operation of the criminal justice system to address the concerns of the American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding missing and murdered indigenous people, particularly missing and murdered women and girls.
In addition to CTAS funding, OJP has awarded more than $100 million through the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside to improve services for crime victims in Tribal communities. OJP’s Office for Victims Crime is supporting tribal grantees with capacity building, training and technical assistance (more than $6.8 million) and an update of the Tribal Resource Tool ($199,999), which maps the availability of victim services in tribal communities. An additional $2.9 million will be awarded under the Children’s Justice Act Partnership to tribes to enhance the handling of cases centered around criminal child abuse and neglect.
The department also funded $6.5 million through OJP’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending Registering and Tracking to help Tribes comply with federal law on sex offender registration and notification.