Editorial: Obama should back Tribal Law and Order
"The high levels of violent crime on the nation’s Indian reservations are not acceptable. Action is necessary.

The Obama administration last week announced a new effort to take on crime on the reservations, and said three top Justice Department officials would travel to states with large Indian populations over the “next two months” to talk to tribal members and crime experts about what can be done.” While that’s a well-intended strategy, the president would be better off sending the Justice trio to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee chaired by Sen. Byron Dorgan.

The senator has been talking to people in Indian Country. He has been gathering facts. And Dorgan has co-sponsored, along with a bipartisan group of 17 members of the Senate, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009 which makes some practical, common-sense changes in how law enforcement and criminal justice operates on reservations.

American Indians are the victims of violent crime at 2.5 times the national rate. FBI reports rates of those crimes doubled between 2005 and 2006, partly fueled by an epidemic of methamphetamine on reservations and heavy alcohol use.

Cause and effect — increase the presence of law enforcement officers and crime goes down. It’s no long-term solution, but it works."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Help tribes with crime (The Bismarck Tribune 9/3)

Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009:

Committee Notice:
HEARING on S. 797, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009 (June 25, 2009)

SCIA Press Release:

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