Applications are now being accepted from Indian tribal governments for up to $4 million in tribal assistance grants to address domestic violence through the federal government.
Tribal Assistance Grants Focus on Funding Justice Resources
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women announced the funding opportunity as a way to address a variety of criminal justice issues in Native American jurisdictions by:
- Strengthening tribal criminal justice systems to assist Indian tribes in exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction (SDVCJ), such as law enforcement, prosecution, trial and appellate courts, probation systems, detention and correctional facilities and other facets of criminal justice
- Providing indigent criminal defendants with the assistance of a licensed defense counsel
- Ensuring that jurors are summoned, selected and instructed consistently
- According victims of domestic violence, dating violence and violations of protections orders rights
Awards for tribal assistance grants are usually between $250,000 to $400,000, though some programs could be awarded up to $4 million, with a total projected budget of $193 million for all awards.
Victim-Focused Criminal Justice is Key
In a National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative live webinar hosted by Lt. Jordan Satinsky, deputy commander of the Montgomery County Police Department, and Marya L. Simmons, victim-witness unit supervisor for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the two discussed the importance of law enforcement listening and understanding testimony from sexual assault victims, including how establish a relationship of trust.
“We’re not real good at figuring out victims,” Satinsky said about police investigators, as he explained that interviewing a cold case sexual assault victim requires an entirely different approach than suspect interviews.
The tribal assistance grants attempt to provide extensive assistance and resources to victims, and place them in a position of power, with full knowledge of their rights and the resources available to them.
Applications are due by February 14, 2019