ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced on Monday that the Department of Justice is awarding more than $236 million in Recovery Act and Fiscal Year 2009 public safety funding to criminal justice initiatives in Indian Country nationwide. The vital support to tribal communities includes more than $224 million in Recovery Act funding to construct and renovate prisons and jails in Indian Country and nearly $12 million to enhance and improve the juvenile justice systems for American Indian and Alaskan Native youth throughout the country.
The Justice Department official was in Albuquerque for the second of two working sessions with tribal leadership and law enforcement experts leading up to the Attorney General's Tribal Nations Listening Conference on Oct. 28-29, part of an ongoing Justice Department initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on tribal justice in Indian Country.
"This week's session is another step forward, but we have many steps to go in what I know will be a long partnership with tribal communities as the Department of Justice continues to take action on public safety issues in Indian Country," Perrelli said.
"None of these resources will matter if we do not direct them properly and at the issues that matter. The Department may be able to provide funding, but only by working together can we make sure tribal communities get what they need."
More than $224 million will be administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) through the Correctional Facilities on Tribal Lands Program. The program provides resources to allow eligible American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to construct or renovate correctional facilities on tribal lands, with consideration given to the detention bed space needs and the violent crime statistics of the applicant tribe or village. A listing of all funding recipients is available at www.ojp.gov/recovery/Tribalcorrectional_Awards.htm.
The 2009 Tribal Youth Program is awarding more than $11.96 million in support of enhanced tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian/Alaskan Native youth. A major focus of the program is providing youth with mental health services. A listing of all recipients of the 2009 Tribal Youth Program awards is available at www.ojp.gov/funding/FY09Awards.htm.