The Center for Court Innovation’s Tribal Justice Exchange works with tribal communities across the United States to enhance their justice systems in ways that support tribal sovereignty.
The Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange has worked with more than 60 tribes across the country to implement innovative practices within their justice systems. These include prevention initiatives, youth engagement, diversion programs, restorative justice practices, Healing to Wellness Courts, reentry strategies, and other approaches emphasizing healing and community-building.
We offer a range of training and technical assistance services designed to promote tribal sovereignty by expanding tribal court jurisdiction, building collaborations with state and local partners, and developing new resources to support justice-involved tribal members.
The Western, adversarial system of justice often runs counter to the traditional practices of tribal communities. We recognize that approaches that work in state justice systems will not necessarily fit tribes' needs. Our Tribal Justice Exchange works with tribes to incorporate traditional practices and values into tribal justice systems.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program provides intensive case management and reentry services to tribal members returning to the community from incarceration. The program provides financial assistance for basic needs such as housing, clothing, and groceries, and offers long-term support through educational, vocational, and legal services.
Specialized domestic violence courts have shown promise in keeping victims safe, supporting offenders in changing their behavior, and repairing harm to individuals and communities. Some tribal communities have implemented these specialized courts and dockets to address the high rates of violence that Native women experience, oftentimes by non-Native perpetrators.
Abusive partner intervention programs for people who harm their intimate partners take a variety of forms. These programs may share a set of guiding principles and serve as one piece within a wider coordinated community response to addressing intimate partner violence. In Native American communities, it is important that programs integrate cultural values and norms as a way to meaningfully engage people who have caused harm in a process of change.
An interview profile of Sarah Reckess, the director of our Upstate New York office: "We try to knock down silos, to challenge agencies and community leaders to think in new ways...to not be afraid of failure."