RECOVERY ACT PROJECT IMPROVES CRIME DATA REPORTING, ACCESS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES IN INDIAN COUNTRYTraining Session This Week for 70 Tribes in Albuquerque, N.M.
WASHINGTON - Tribal governments are better able to collect crime data and apply for law enforcement resources due to an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, the Department of Justice announced today. The Tribal Crime Data Collection Analysis and Estimation Project was instituted in September 2009, as part of the Justice Department's commitment to strengthen tribal law enforcement.
The second training session for tribal representatives on the new technology begins today in Albuquerque, N.M., and continues through Thursday, September, 23, 2010. Fifty tribes from across the country are scheduled to complete the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Summary Reporting System course, while an additional 20 tribes will complete the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) course. Kenneth J. Gonzales, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico and Joshua Madalena, Governor of the Pueblo of Jemez, will welcome the participants.
"Timely and accurate reporting of crime and justice data by all public safety agencies is essential to meet the public safety challenges we face in Tribal communities," said the department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson. "The data collection project and interactive training sessions further demonstrate the Department of Justice's commitment to work in partnership with tribes to strengthen their justice systems."
The Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) program uses crime data to determine funding amounts for jurisdictions. Since tribal crime data were generally not reported to the FBI, tribes in previous years were largely ineligible for the grant funds. In FY 2008, only 25 tribes submitted crime data and only five tribes were eligible to receive JAG awards, totaling an estimated $159,000. In FY 2010, as a result of the Tribal Crime Data Project, the number of tribes reporting crime data meeting the FBI standards for the UCR increased to 130 and the overall amount of JAG funds awarded to native tribes increased to $709,000.
The Tribal Crime Data Project is administered by OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in coordination with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Tribal Justice, the FBI, the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, and certain state and tribal governments to address gaps in Indian Country crime statistics and current reporting methods. The first Recovery Act UCR program training session was held in June in Arlington, VA.
OJP partnered with Westat, Inc. and the Northern Arapaho Tribal Industries to provide the logistical support and planning for both training sessions.
More information on upcoming training sessions or OJP programs available to tribes is available at: www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov
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