The Center for Court Innovation helps tribal communities across the U.S. develop or enhance their justice systems.
We offer a range of services designed to meet three major goals. The first is ensuring that tribal communities have access to training and ongoing technical assistance about problem-solving community-based practices, such as a Healing to Wellness Court, a domestic violence court, or a truancy reduction program. We facilitate formal collaborations among traditional tribal justice systems and state and local court systems. And finally, we identify and share best practices developed in Indian country that could help strengthen public safety initiatives elsewhere in the United States.
Building on a traditional Native American approach to justice, the Center’s peacemaking programs focus on healing and community restoration rather than punishment.
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. This video, which was an official selection of the American Indian Film Festival, introduces viewers to the program through interviews with clients, staff and the numerous partners--like prison and court officials--that have allowed the program to
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. This document frames abusive partner intervention programs within a coordinated community response, offers general guiding principles, and provides
Creating a specialized domestic violence court can be daunting for any community. It requires careful planning, leadership, and the buy-in of partners. The Tulalip Tribes of Washington are tackling the issue of domestic violence head-on, spearheading an initiative to create a specialized court, one of the first in a tribal justice system. This outline of their planning process highlights the steps involved and serves as a useful guide for tribes seeking to strengthen their court’s response to domestic violence.
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."