Tribal Justice

Publications

Inspired by Peacemaking: Creating Community Based Restorative Programs in State Courts

Inspired by Peacemaking: Creating Community Based Restorative Programs in State Courts

By Erika Sasson and Nora Sydow

This document describes the Native American method of peacemaking—a non-adversarial form of justice focusing on restoration and the long-term healing of relationships—and offers detailed guidelines for implementation by state courts. The authors consider how incorporating peacemaking can help state courts strengthen public trust in justice by involving the community in settling disputes and help courts towards their goal of becoming more responsive to trauma in the populations they serve. The document profiles four peacemaking programs in state courts and concludes with stories of disputes brought before the Red Hook Peacemaking Program in Brooklyn, N.Y. Undertaken in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts, this document was prepared with support from the State Justice Institute.

Publications

Community Perceptions of Youth Gang Activity: Results from Four Tribal Sites

Community Perceptions of Youth Gang Activity: Results from Four Tribal Sites

By Elise Jensen, Amanda Cissner and Warren A. Reich

This study sought to document the nature and extent of youth gang involvement in Indian Country. Through interviews at four tribal sites, we identified three primary themes: the prevalence and characteristics of youth gangs; the prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies developed by tribes to counter them; and more general problems faced by tribal youth—such as substance use and suicidality—that may be more pressing to address than concerns over gang activity. Indeed, the study’s findings suggest that previous accounts of gang activity among tribal youth may have been overstated. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for funders and those looking to conduct research in tribal settings.

Video

What Does Reintegration Mean to You? The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program

What Does Reintegration Mean to You? The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program provides intensive case management and reentry services to tribal members returning to the community from incarceration. The program provides financial assistance for basic needs such as housing, clothing, and groceries, and offers long-term support through educational, vocational, and legal services. This video introduces viewers to the program through interviews with clients, staff and the numerous partners--like prison and court officials--that have allowed the program to help hundreds of clients make successful transitions from prison to home.

Video

A Day at Puyallup GREAT Camp

A Day at Puyallup GREAT Camp

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians created the GREAT Program to intervene with gang-involved youth, create a safer school climate, and provide pro-social gang prevention activities to community youth. In addition to the in-class curriculum, the program provides camp opportunities for youth to participate in throughout the year. This video follows youth, teachers, officers, staff and elders through their summer camp experience, where they share stories on how the program has impacted their lives.

Publications

Can Restorative Practices Address Intimate Partner Violence? Summary of a Roundtable Discussion

Can Restorative Practices Address Intimate Partner Violence? Summary of a Roundtable Discussion

By Erika Sasson

In May 2016, victim advocates, restorative justice practitioners, tribal peacemakers, prosecutors, federal policymakers, and others came together in Santa Fe, N.M., to discuss whether and how restorative practices could be used to safely and effectively respond to intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and dating violence. This document synthesizes a complex discussion into a series of themes for future reflection and planning around the issues raised. The national roundtable was convened by the Center for Court Innovation and the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and was sponsored by the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

To Read the Monograph on the Same Topic

Publications

Combatting Domestic Violence in Indian Country: Are Specialized Domestic Violence Courts Part of the Solution?

Combatting Domestic Violence in Indian Country: Are Specialized Domestic Violence Courts Part of the Solution?

By Kathryn Ford

Domestic violence is one of the most pressing problems facing Native American and Alaska Native communities. Although the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act recognizes the authority of tribes to prosecute non-Native offenders, more tools are needed. This paper explores whether specialized domestic violence courts, which focus on enhancing victim safety and promoting offender accountability, can be part of a multi-faceted approach for tribal justice systems to address domestic violence.

 

Publications

Planning a Problem-Solving Justice Initiative: A Toolkit for Tribal Communities

Planning a Problem-Solving Justice Initiative: A Toolkit for Tribal Communities

Tribal courts around the country are exploring the use of problem-solving justice, which offers a way to blend the adversarial process with more traditional practices that focus on healing and restoration. This toolkit offers tribal justice planners a step-by-step guide to developing effective problem-solving justice initiatives.

 

Interviews

'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas is a trained volunteer peacemaker with the Near Westside Peacemaking Project, an initiative of the Syracuse office of the Center for Court Innovation. Thomas sat down with Sarah Reckess, director of the Syracuse office, to talk about his interest in peacemaking, the challenges of the work, and how the community can begin to heal itself.

Sarah Reckess: Why were you interested in being part of the Near Westside Peacemaking Project?

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Publications

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

By Rachel Swaner, Lama Hassoun Ayoub, Elise Jensen and Michael Rempel

The National Institute of Justice funded the Center for Court Innovation to evaluate the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program. The evaluation produced a series of reports describing how stakeholders at each site organized themselves to create and implement a strategic plan; detailing each site’s model; and clearly delineating lessons and actionable recommendations for other jurisdictions that might be interested in replicating the process. This report provides a cross-site synthesis of implementation strategies, lessons learned, and recommendations drawn from six of the demonstration program sites—including separate, crisply described recommendations for other jurisdictions, for tribal jurisdictions in particular, for funding agencies, for technical assistance providers, and for evaluators.

Listen to an Interview with the Researchers

Listen to an Interview with the Cuyahoga County Defending Childhood Initiative team

Listen to an Interview with the Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative team

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Publications

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

By Suvi Hynynen Lambson

This study examines the work of the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s Peacemaking Program, which uses traditional Native American practices to resolve disputes. Participants can avoid the justice system by participating in peacemaking sessions and reaching a consensus agreement for restitution and repair.

Video

The Red Hook Peacemaking Program

The Red Hook Peacemaking Program

Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to justice that focuses on healing and restoration rather than punishment.

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Articles

Site Snapshot: Syracuse, New York

This snapshot spotlights current efforts to revitalize the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, with the help of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. 

Download Article

Publications

Red Hook Peacemaking Program: A Different Voice

Red Hook Peacemaking Program: A Different Voice

By Erika Sasson

A description of the Peacemaking Program at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. Published on the Kindle Project blog in March 2013.

Read the Original Blog Post

Publications

A Different Approach to Justice

A Different Approach to Justice

By Erika Sasson

This article describes Native American peacemaking as an alternative to the Canadian justice system's "overreliance on punitive and isolationsist tactics." Published in Policy Options, February 2013.

Publications

Responses to Domestic Violence in Tribal Communities: A Regional Survey of Northern California

Responses to Domestic Violence in Tribal Communities: A Regional Survey of Northern California

By Bryn Herrschaft and Stephanie Dolan

This report details the results of a regional survey of Northern California tribal communities focused on domestic violence. The goal was to assess the prevalence of domestic violence victimization, as well as perceptions regarding community and justice system responses to these incidents.

Contact
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