Navajo Judicial Branch obtains $495,000 grant

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch has been awarded a $495,832 grant under the Tribal Courts Assistance Program of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. The funding will be used to further the Navajo Nation Integrated Justice Information Sharing Project.

The project is an initiative of the Judicial Branch in partnership with the Navajo Division of Public Safety and Chief Prosecutor. The goal of the project is to expand automated case management support to the courts, probation, peacemaking, prosecutors and public defenders and enable the sharing of judicial and justice information between these components and Navajo Nation law enforcement.

A technology oversight committee composed of chiefs, directors and senior managers of Public Safety, the courts, Corrections, Probation Services, Law Enforcement Information Management Services, prosecutor, public defender and Information Technology meets on project-related issues and sets protocols, goals and timelines.

The project receives funding from federal, state and Navajo Nation governmental sources.

The grant funding will go toward enhancement of cabling including network fiber optic cabling for the various judicial and police districts. Funds are also designated for support services, personnel training and video conferencing equipment.

The grant was applied for through the U.S. DOJ Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation for Fiscal Year 2010. The new effort combines 10 DOJ grant programs into a single solicitation. According to the Office of Justice Programs website, "The Department created the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) to respond to Tribal leaders requests to improve the grant-making process, and to strengthen tribal capacity for strategic community-based justice system planning."

Judiciary Committee member Harold Wauneka, Fort Defiance, will be sponsoring legislation to accept the grant award.

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