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Enhanced Tribal Authority Series


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This publication is a companion publication providing an overview of enhanced sentencing authority under the Act, an examination of possible benefits and challenges of implementing that authority, a review of the Bureau of Prisons Tribal Prisoner Program, examples of tribal code implementing provisions, and additional enhanced sentencing authority and Tribal Law and Order Act resources. This publication is part of a two-part series on enhanced tribal authority. The other publication discusses Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction over Non-Indians under the 2022 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

This publication provides general guidance to assist Tribes in making an informed decision concerning the possible exercise of Tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians. Considerations for exercising criminal jurisdiction over Non-Indians are examined including both the benefits and challenges of exercising criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians. Information is provided concerning the experiences of the implementing Tribes and the role of the Intertribal Technical-Assistance Working Group (ITWG). Extensive information is provided concerning resources available to Tribes interested in exercising this jurisdiction. This publication is part of a two-part series on enhanced Tribal authority, the other publication discusses Tribal Law and Order Act enhanced sentencing authority.

Co-authored Publications:

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The Reauthorization of Violence Against Women in 2013 created the Pilot Project, which comprised of five tribes the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tulalip Tribes of Washington, Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in North Dakota. These tribes exercised the Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction, which restored their partial power to criminally prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence offenses. The Pilot Project Report provides a brief account of the activities during the Pilot Project period from February 2014 – March 2015 and shares recommendations for next steps. (2016)

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This report summarizes the results of the first five years of tribal government-expanded criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians under the tribal provisions of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA 2013). (2018)

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