Tribal Courts: Technical Assistance
The Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange provides technical assistance to tribal communities seeking to develop or enhance their tribal court systems. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Tribal Courts Assistance Program, the Tribal Justice Exchange has three major goals: (1) ensuring that tribal communities have access to training and ongoing technical assistance about problem-solving community-based practices; (2) encouraging formal collaborations between traditional tribal justice systems and state and local court systems; and (3) identifying and disseminating best practices developed in Indian country that could help to strengthen public safety initiatives elsewhere in the United States. The Tribal Justice Exchange offers a range of services designed to meet these goals.
The Center’s services include:
- Site visits
- Hands-on assistance
- Research and writing
- Information sharing
Site visits are useful vehicles for introducing tribal justice planners to the concepts and practices of problem-solving courts. The Center hosts site visits to the Center’s demonstration projects in the New York City area, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Midtown Community Court. Each of the Center’s demonstration projects is a real-world experiment that offers visitors the opportunity to see problem-solving justice in action.
On a typical site visit, visitors will:
- see the court in action and meet the judge;
- meet project staff, who will be available to answer questions;
- obtain sample documents; and
- brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.
The Center provides on-site needs assessments to assist tribal communities in developing community-based problem-solving strategies to meet local needs. Program staff works directly with tribal representatives to help identify the tribe’s concerns and assist in the creation of a plan for addressing those concerns in a way that builds upon local resources, strengths, and traditions.
Available applications include:
1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT
A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen planners’ understanding of the issues at hand.
2. CONCEPT PAPER
Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help planners create a detailed concept paper that spells out the scope and goals of a project.
3. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify funding sources, create a start-up budget, and devise new ways to engage the community and potential government partners.
The Center can help planners evaluate the project by establishing performance measures and tracking the project’s ability to meet its stated goals.
Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.
Center problem-solving justice experts speak regularly at conferences, lead workshops, and provide problem-solving and community collaboration trainings to individuals, groups, and organizations. The Center is available to provide customized workshops, panels, and trainings to tribal justice practitioners interested in incorporating problem-solving court principles into their own projects.
Research and writing
Center researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations, and to produce publications.
The Center is committed to promoting communication and information sharing among tribal and non-tribal justice systems. Program staff works with tribal justice experts from across the country to produce briefing papers addressing timely issues in tribal justice, including strategies for incorporating traditional tribal justice practices into state justice systems.
Other Training Opportunities
Tribal Probation Academy
Fox Valley Technical College offers regional trainings for tribal probation officers several times each year. These trainings provide current information and important skill sets for probation case management and officer safety.
Click here for more details.