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. In this podcast hosted by the National American Indian Court Judges Association in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation, Kelly Stoner from the Tribal Law and Policy Institute discusses these approaches, highlighting the specific ways that tribal courts can safely, effectively and holistically handle these complex cases.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-TA-AX-K040 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this podcast are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
The following is a transcript of the podcast:
KATE TRUJILLO: Hello and thanks for listening. Today we are discussing domestic violence courts and dockets on tribal lands. We will explore some of the benefits and barriers that tribes encounter when they develop these courts and how the tribes can overcome them. My name is Kate Trujillo and I am the Program Coordinator at the National American Indian Court Judges Association. Joining me today is a domestic violence court guru from the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Welcome Kelly Stoner. Kelly, could you please tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and the work that you do?
KELLY STONER: Sure. Thank you, Kate. Hello to everyone out there. My name is Kelly Stoner, and a little bit about my background so you'll see what sort of lens I'm working through, for the past eight years, up until the end of April, was a tribal court judge for the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Due to time restraints I thought it was in everyone's best interest that I pullback a little bit from that, but I do have the eight years of experience and I loved my work as a tribal judge.
I also have probably 10 years of experience as a tribal prosecutor for a tribe up in North Dakota. And I also served a couple years here as a tribal prosecutor for a CFR court for one of the tribes here in Oklahoma. I have over 20 years of teaching experience at the doctrinal level teaching Domestic Violence and the Lawyer, American Indian Law, Indian Child Welfare Act. And I also served for several years as the mentoring attorney for what's known as The Circle Project here in Oklahoma. Our tribal coalition, the Native Alliance Against Violence, operates a program similar to civil legal assistance, only it's focusing on working with tribal victim advocates representing victims of domestic violence in tribal courts, state courts, here in Oklahoma.
STONER: I also, as I've said, or as Kate said, I've worked for the Tribal Law and Policy Institute for the past five years and I am a Victim Advocacy Legal Specialist there. That's a bit about my background that's relevant to the DV work.
TRUJILLO: Great, thank you for that. Well, we definitely have a very qualified specialist with us here today then. To get started, let's explore a little bit about domestic violence on Indian lands. And let's talk about why is domestic violence is such an important issue in Indian country and how, if at all, do these cases present differently than non-domestic violence cases.
STONER: Well, just a snippet of why domestic violence is such an important issue in Indian country, I think one may probably look no further than the national statistics coming out. I won't go over all of those with you, but just a few that are particularly bone chilling to me. 56% of all Native women, that's American Indian and Alaska Native women, experience sexual violence in their lifetime. That's 50% higher than the next most victimized group.
TRUJILLO: Oh my goodness.
STONER: Yes, and 55% of those women, the American Indian and Alaska Native women, have suffered physical violence by an intimate partner. They suffer rates of domestic violence higher than any other ethnic group in the United States of America. And a statistic that is particularly interesting to me in my work, and we'll talk about this a little bit later, 86% of the rapes against American Indian and Alaska Native women are committed by non-Indian perpetrators. This stat comes from The Department of Justice I believe. It's likely much worse than that, but this is going to be an important stat as tribes move forward and try to keep their women safe in Indian country.
And I don't want to forget about the children in this conversation because in the hundreds of cases that I've worked on that involve Native victims of domestic violence, I'm going to say about 90% of those have had children involved. Let's don't forget about the children and they too are suffering from the ravages of domestic violence in Indian country, in and outside of Indian country I would add. And it's affecting those children, they are two and a half times more likely to experience trauma than their non-Native peers. And the most recent data is showing us that these Native children are experiencing post traumatic stress disorder at the same rates as veterans who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that's triple the rate of the general population.
So there is a strong intersection between domestic violence and child custody or issues affecting children, child welfare. These impact also, I think it's really important to think about, tribes already know this but just to underscore it, that domestic violence is devastating for victims and for the children. And it may have lifelong effects on physical health, mental health, and their future relationships.
I think another issue that's unique to Indian country, many tribes, not all but many, they're all unique, but many tribes have some sort of cultural belief or tradition, community norm if you will, that underscores that women and children are sacred and that they are to be protected. So when any restrictions are put, and we'll talk about this a little bit later, but when any federal restrictions are put on a tribe's ability, a sovereign ability to keep these women and children safe, it really contradicts a tribe's belief and their community norms.
I just wanted to get all that out. It's really sobering and saddening statistics, but something has to be done with respect to addressing domestic violence in the United States, but particularly in Indian country. I think your next question-
STONER: I think your next question, Kate, was how are these cases different. Is that right?
TRUJILLO: Yeah, so now that we know that this is such a big issue in Indian country, I think something that's really important to talk about is whether or not these cases present different issues than non-domestic violence cases tend to present. And you touched on this a little bit speaking about child welfare and how that can often be a consequence of domestic violence, but are there any other issues that you find come up in domestic violence cases versus non-domestic violence cases?
STONER: Absolutely, and this is such an important point. If we had the ability to bold and underline on our podcast I would do that here because domestic violence cases, all domestic violence cases but particularly in Indian country, they are complex and they're dangerous.
So domestic violence cases are different than cases, I'm talking court cases, that do not involve domestic violence. For instance, what a judge might order in a case that does not have domestic violence presence, that same order might prove deadly in a domestic violence case. And that is because domestic violence, by its definition, is all about the batterer exercising power and control over the victim. This is usually done through a series of behaviors that have some sort of psychological emotional effect on the victim. And the batterers will use these behavior tactics to affect and control the victim throughout the court process.
And I think it's really important, Kate, for folks to know that domestic violence doesn't always have to include physical violence. Of course you would look at the tribal code. But if you're screening a case to see whether domestic violence is present, it may or may not include physical violence. And that's because a batterer only exerts enough power and control over the victim to make sure the victim is behaving within a certain parameter that the batterer has set for her. It can be a him or a her, the victim, but I'm going to use the word her. And the victim may learn quickly and not have to suffer physical consequences. It's for those victims who are not behaving in that perception that the batterer says, "Okay, these behaviors are okay and this is what I want you to do." If the victim is staying within those confines the batterer may not have to use physical violence.
So I think a lot of folks that aren't trained in how to handle domestic violence cases simply look for physical violence and they don't look for those behaviors the batterer is utilizing to maintain this power and control and they're missing such a great deal there. I also want to point out that when a victim begins to seek help, and let's just say reaching out to get a protection order because we're talking about domestic violence courts, that batterer then begins to feel, or may feel, that they're losing power and control. That this victim is now misbehaving, if you will, and she's going to reach out for help and that batterer is going to lose power and control. It's at that moment where that batterer feels potential loss of power and control that becomes the most dangerous for the victim.
So I think for particularly, it's all service providers that are working with the victim, but I'm thinking about my tenure as a tribal judge, you have to understand this, that every single remedy, every command you are giving from the bench is taking further power and control away from the batterer and the case is getting more and more lethal. It has the potential to be getting more and more lethal. So that's why a domestic violence court, for one, is going to underscore the need for this judge to be trained and receive regularly and ongoing training about issues affecting domestic violence, because these cases are extremely dangerous.
Another thing that makes these cases dangerous is whatever myths are going on in whichever tribal community we're talking about, and they vary. That makes it dangerous as well because if your court personnel, if your judges are not trained in the power and control dynamics of domestic violence, they may come with their own preconceived notions. Well, she wore her shirt too short, or she shouldn't have been there anyway, or she knew he was getting angry and she kept doing these things anyway. Almost a victim blaming sort of perception. That too is going to have to be addressed and can be addressed through a tribal domestic violence court.
And the last thing I want to speak to on how these cases, DV cases are different than cases that don't have DV, are the services needs of the victim. Many of these victims are being subjected to batterer's behaviors that focus on financial issues. For instance, the victim may be working, the batterer taking all the money. Or the batterer may allow the victim some access to money until the victim's behaviors become unsatisfactory to the batterer, and then they'll take all the money. So these victims coming in are needing access to housing, food, employment, they may have childcare needs.
And it's interesting, as Native victims if they have to venture outside of Indian country into surrounding jurisdictions oftentimes those systems that they're seeking help from, let's say if they need help with housing or some sort of public assistance and they're having to go through a Department of Human Services, that agency might require the victim to do certain things that are very dangerous to her. If she's needing shelter the shelter may say, "Well, if you have male children that are over 12 years of age you can't bring your boys in here. You can't bring your pets in here." There's a whole list of barriers that are non-victim friendly, and oftentimes they are directly connected to victims' safety in these kinds of cases that you're not going to see in the non-DV cases.
TRUJILLO: Oh wow, okay. So there's definitely a lot there that makes these very specialty cases then.
TRUJILLO: Yeah, all very, very important things to remember when we're talking about these cases. So let's talk a little bit more about the legal approach to these things. And for those who aren't familiar with the models, can you just give us a brief explanation of what a domestic violence court or docket is and how it's different from what we typically think of court and business as usual?
STONER: Sure. So let me start by just kind of giving our listeners just a very general overview of what a victim of domestic violence might be needing, let's say in the tribal civil realm. She may be looking for a protection order, divorce, custody, child support, housing, and possible even debt or creditor. Her creditors may be coming after her because she hasn't been able to make payments.
In the criminal realm the batterer may be charged with a crime, and the victim is going to be needing what we call a Criminal No Contact Order. It's like a protection order but issued in the criminal case. She may also need to be asserting, or have assistance in asserting, her victim's rights that the tribal code might be given to protect the victim, give the victim a voice in the criminal justice system. So again, very complex having to navigate, even with a system, to get different types of remedies.
I think first we should talk about a DV court, and then I'll contrast that with a DV docket so that our listeners kind of get a feel for the difference between the two, because one of the things, I failed to mention this at the beginning, is that The Office of Violence Against Women has provided funding to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute to create a Tribal Domestic Violence Court/Docket Guide. TLPI has done this, we've developed the guide, and it's in the final stages of review by OVW. We hope that approval is coming very shortly and we'll be able to have that for everybody on the TLPI website, I'll give you that address later.
But this guide that we've developed really takes each different tribe... it takes the tribes through a series of exercises so that each tribe can reflect on their own customs, traditions, belief systems, and they can actually design their own DV court that incorporates these customs, traditions, and make it their own. It's very difficult to write a uniformed guide because each tribe is so different.
Here are some of the earmarks of a tribal DV court. There's a focus in every stage of the case, every order, and all the monitoring of the batterer for compliance with that tribal court order, on victim safety and providing the victim and her children the services that they need, that are also focused on victim safety and holding that batterer accountable. In this DV... Hopefully in this tribal DV court the court staff, all attorneys, all the judges, and all service providers are highly trained in the domestic violence power and control issues with a heavy, heavy focus on victim safety. And when I say victim, if the victim has children we're also including that.
There will be an early identification of the DV case and a referral over to the special DV court, and immediate contact with a victim advocate who then can relay the victim, make recommendations for the victim with respect to service needs. Also, there will be efficient case processing through the tribal court system, whether it be civil or criminal. That's something for this tribal planning team using the guide to decide based on resources and other needs of the tribal community.
But there won't be delay after delay, continuance after continuance, that we see in a lot of these cases. Especially in the civil system we see batterers oftentimes filing. I once had a case that lasted two years and I think the batterer filed a motion every single month because it was distressing to the victim. So we'll see an efficient case processing through the tribal court system in a DV court.
We also, one of the really important components, we will also see a coordinated response. I'm talking about a multidisciplinary response from service provides and other court personnel, law enforcement, to pledge to adhere to policies and protocols that the planning team as they worked through the guide have developed. That all of the core case team, they will attend every court hearing, they will inform the judge about victim safety issues, about victim need. They will inform the judge about batterer noncompliance, batterer compliance. And that core case team is an earmark, it's critical of a domestic violence court. And just to give the listeners some examples, members of this core case team might include a tribal judge, a DV advocate, tribal prosecutor, law enforcement, child protection, and various other disciplines.
So let's contrast that for just a moment to a tribal DV docket. A DV docket is a specialized docket, special days that maybe are set aside to hear DV cases. Now, the team again would decide if we're going to have a docket do we want it to be civil, criminal, or both. You know, ideally if you can't move on towards a tribal DV court, a tribal DV docket will still allow hopefully specialized judges, specialized court personnel, to hear these cases, to lessen the batterer's manipulation techniques, to focus on victims' safety, there might be enhanced security measures on DV docket days.
Also, we would hope that a DV docket would have a set of protocols and procedures that each of the members of the court team, I'm not talking about the multidisciplinary team here I'm talking about maybe court staff, tribal judges, bailiffs, they're all following to focus on victims' safety. You might want to have a victim advocate present in court on these days, you might want to provide some childcare on these docket days. But again, a DV docket will not usually have that core multidisciplinary case team that DV court has.
TRUJILLO: Okay, thank you for that distinction. That makes a lot of sense. Now that we know a little bit more about what the models actually look like, could you discuss a little bit about why a tribe might want to implement a domestic violence court or docket? And what are some of the potential benefits for the tribal justice system and for the community in doing so?
STONER: The benefits, well of course a DV court docket I think is... because this guide that I've been referring to allows the tribe to tailor the DV response to meet the unique needs of the tribal community and reflect the tribal customs and traditions in play, this allows the tribe to in fact design a court that is going to enhance victims' safety and the children, and get those services to the victim they need right away by all service providers who have agreed to follow a set of protocols and policies that this tribal planning team working through the guide have developed. So just that focus, I think, on victim safety is a huge benefit.
Also, I think if this is done in a way that again, reflects and is unique to each tribe's customs and traditions, I think you will see the benefit of reporting as domestic violence cases. As victims feel comfortable that yes, the judge understands my safety issues, the judge knows that it's important to listen to what I'm saying I need, that the children and I need. I think there will be increased promoting of domestic violence cases, more prosecutions of domestic violence crimes, because remember that tribal prosecutor is also a member of that core case team. There will be an early identification of domestic violence cases, getting that victim an advocate to help guide her through and potential services needs.
And I think one of the things that's really important too is I believe that we will begin to see more victim participation in the court process. Less fear, although there will be some there I'm sure, but more like this is a much more victim-friendly place than a non-DV court. We'll get a more tribally centered approach to domestic violence that's created and designed by the tribe itself. I think also there will be more holding of batterers accountable for noncompliance with tribal court orders because there's a whole team there that's helping to monitor that.
And equally important to all the things I just mentioned is tribal community buy in. That word of mouth often moves quickly in Indian country, and when victims begin to feel safer and reporting becomes... it's an issue that victims don't necessarily fear any longer, that noncompliance will be prosecuted, that the tribal community then will begin to buy in and support a tribal domestic violence court. And that's huge.
TRUJILLO: Right, yeah. That benefit, not only for the victims but also for the community, and really getting everybody on board is so important when we're talking about these issues, especially in Indian country because as you said, oftentimes those communities are smaller and word of mouth really, really spreads. Now that we talked a little bit about those benefits, could you also speak a little bit to some of the barriers that tribes might face when they're trying to develop a domestic violence court or docket and what they can do to overcome them?
STONER: I think that there are possibly more challenges to implementing a tribal domestic violence court, just because it's much more extensive and the response is more extensive towards victim safety and batterer accountability. It involves an entire court, it involves that core case team of multidisciplinary service providers. So when you talk about the tribal DV court, here are some of the challenges that I think some tribes, not all but some, might think about and have to face.
You know, when we're talking about court systems, even tribal civil versus trial juvenile versus tribal criminal, we're talking about law enforcement systems, prosecutors, we're talking about victim service providers, a victim advocate. There's a paradigm shift for everybody to come together and say, "Look, we can agree that victim safety, our tribal customs beliefs, they say women are sacred, children are sacred, so we have to come together and break down some of these silos that each one of these systems have." Some systems, some agencies, get really territorial. We have to come together and we have to say these pieces are critical for victim safety, children safety, batterer accountability, and we all agree that this is going to be a goal, an objective. We all agree that we're going to work together and we can agree to these protocols and policies, we'll all agree to follow those towards the end of victim safety and batterer accountability.
And that's a huge paradigm shift, getting folks to work together like that. And some will say, "Well, we get a federal grant and they won't allow us to do this and that." There's going to have to be a workaround on some of those issues. It's not all going to be easy. Also, I think victim confidentiality, sharing of victim information among this multidisciplinary core case team is an extremely complex legal issue. Going to have to probably get some lawyers involved in making sure that any federal funding requirements about sharing of victim information has been adhered to, that any tribal... if there's any tribal code, tribal requirements for sharing victim information, all of that's going to have to be handled and some sort of agreement reached that's going to protect the victim while at the same time allowing this team to work toward assisting the victim and the children and holding batterers accountable.
Also, I think possibly everybody in Indian country is overworked, so getting this core team, including the tribal judge and court staff, to agree to regular ongoing domestic violence training, whether that's focusing on power and control, focusing on victim safety, focusing on promising practices of other DV courts, I think just getting that time commitment and having the funds to send everyone or bring a trainer in, it might be a challenge.
Then let's talk about the financial challenges, although I don't see necessarily, if the tribe already has a tribal court, that there are huge insurmountable financial challenges. But some of those might include, well we need... if we're going to have a tribal DV court we're going to have to have obviously regular and ongoing training. Do we need additional court staff? Do we need a bailiff? Do we need a additional probation officer or do we already have maybe some people in place that would agree to work with the court on these DV issues? So just some things to think about there with respect to challenges for a DV court.
I think for the DV docket they're much less, although you might want extra security, as we said, on those days that you're hearing these DV cases. You may want to think about being able to provide some sort of childcare while the victim is in the court. And just issues like that I think for the DV court... DV docket, excuse me. I don't see financial issues as being totally insurmountable if you already have a tribal court in place.
TRUJILLO: Right, okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I think you touched a little bit about... touched on a little bit about the logistics and the restraints that courts often face in Indian country. But as you said there too, there definitely are some ways to get around it and there are some really neat things already happening and great resources for courts that are interested in started a domestic violence court or docket.
TRUJILLO: Let's get a little bit more into the actual what a domestic violence court looks like in practice. What are some of the ways that you think that culture and tradition can be integrated into a domestic violence court so that the court or the docket itself models the needs and the culture of the community?
STONER: I think that the tribal court will not be successful if that's not a piece of this tribal planning team that's designing the tribal domestic violence court. And I keep referring back to this guide, one of the... several of the exercises I should say, that this tribal planning team working through this guide, in designing a tribal domestic violence court it requires that tribal planning team to sit down and have a very open discussion about their tribe's customs, traditions, beliefs, community norms on victim safety, including the children, and how you're going to hold these batterers accountable.
And this guide is really set up, and there's a series of exercises this tribal planning team... it gives instruction on who to put on the planning team and how this planning team will work together. And as this team moves through these exercises, again they're going to have to come to terms with this and identify exactly historically what kept the tribe in balance. What kept DV from being even present in these tribal communities? How did the tribe handle that historically? The exercises encourages the planning team to seek advice from some of the elders, the keeper, the holder of that knowledge. And that, those pieces then, will be the foundation of the tribal domestic violence court.
And each tribe may have different foundational pieces, but they will design those as they work through this guide. If, and I'll just give this as a warning, and this is just me, if the tribe doesn't take care, this tribal planning team, as they're working through these exercises that focus on incorporating custom and tradition, it is doubtful that the tribal domestic violence court will be affective for any length of time. It must reflect, the court must reflect the beliefs and customs and traditions of that particular tribal community it's serving.
TRUJILLO: Yes, definitely. That is such an important part of practicing law and having really successful judicial systems on tribal land. And I think something that you touched on there that is really important too is speaking with the community and involving community elders and different community members in the planning process. And really, not only having them involved but also fostering that community investment is huge when you're doing something like trying to develop a domestic violence court or docket, so thank you so much for bringing that up.
STONER: I do have possibly an example for folks who are maybe listening and want to just kind of explore how are tribes really incorporating customs and traditions. This guide, the DV court docket guide that will be forthcoming soon I hope, we do provide some examples of how tribes have incorporated customs and traditions into their tribal domestic violence codes that their courts are using.
And one I'll just give folks that may be for easy reference is the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi. Their domestic violence court that their tribal domestic violence docket is operating off of says that, and I won't read it all but I'll just give some examples because this is this Nottawaseppi Huron Band, their customs and traditions. "The purpose is to recognize that the strength of the tribe is founded on health families and the safety of victims of domestic and family violence, especially the children, must be insured by immediate intervention of law enforcement, prosecution, education, treatment, and other appropriate services." And the statute goes on again to reflect what that tribe believes is incredibly important in these cases.
TRUJILLO: Right. Great, thank you for that example. I think that can be really helpful to bring it in to perspective and to give listeners and idea of what it looks like in practice. Now, say that we have a court, a tribal court, that has a domestic violence court up and running or a domestic violence docket up and running. How would you recommend evaluating or measuring the success or the impact of that court or docket?
STONER: To answer that question I'm going to refer back to what's written in the DV court docket guide. It suggests that there are two ways to really evaluate or assess the success of the tribal domestic violence court. The first, least formal, is monitoring the progress, which focuses on whether the protocols and policies that were developed for the DV court or the DV docket are being properly implemented. Is everybody following those? And whether those protocols are achieving the desired result. Are they keeping victims safe, children safe, and holding batterers accountable? So monitoring the progress of the protocols and policies, first step.
The second would be a formal evaluation, which again the guide works the team through how to design that for their particular tribal court or tribal DV docket. And this evaluation focuses on the entire court, the entire court, including that multidisciplinary core case team. It's really the team will decide which data should be collected that's going to establish whether their response to domestic violence has improved, whether the victims feel supported as they go through the process, the victims feel the systems are listening to them, that they have a meaningful say, and the extent to which agencies providing services to the victim and to the batterer have improved the response to domestic violence. So this is a much more formal evaluation and the guide recommends, again, that this planning team decide how often that needs to take place.
TRUJILLO: Great, thank you. And I think something that's important to touch on with evaluations and measurement too is when we're doing those more formal evaluations one of the things you had mentioned is that this specialty team is coming up with what they think is important to measure. And that's a really important point to hit on because I think so often we tend to think of evaluation, measurement, and data collection and then we have a minor freakout. But really it's something that stems from the community and it's really, more than anything, a way for that court or docket to understand what they could be doing better, how much impact they're having, what things are really working. It's really for their own benefit and it can be done within the resources that they have.
STONER: That's correct. And the guide also provides some examples of how other domestic violence courts and dockets, they may not be tribal but other domestic violence courts and dockets are monitoring and evaluating, so that the planning team will have some sense of how other courts are doing these sorts of measurements. And I do think... I think you already said this, but I'm just going to underscore again, this whole guide is set up for each tribe once the planning team is in place that's going to make these designs of the tribal court or the tribal domestic violence court or the tribal domestic violence docket. They're going to design what it is they're trying to accomplish and design, with some guidance and the exercises, the data needed to establish whether they're being successful or not.
And the last step in the development of protocols and policies is repeat. You repeat, you repeat, you repeat. You do the evaluations, you sit down, you read the results. Then you get the team together again and say, "What needs to be tweaked here?" So that there's a continual assessment, if you will, going on at whatever interval the planning team thinks is appropriate.
TRUJILLO: Right, that makes a lot of sense. Kind of that continuous improvement to make sure that courts and dockets are on the right track. So one of the things that we know is that many tribes are looking to implement, or they already have implemented, policies such as enhanced sentencing under the Tribal Law and Order Act, otherwise known as TLOA, and/or the Special Criminal Jurisdiction Over Non-Native Offenders under the Violence Against Women Act, also known as VAWA. How might a tribal domestic violence court or docket interact with and support these efforts?
STONER: Well, I see the TLOA and the Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction Over Non-Indians as a flex, a maximum flex if you will, of tribal sovereign muscle... tribal judicial sovereign muscle I should say, in trying to keep victims and children safe. Just to give a short background to the listeners, you might remember the Oliphant case where the Supreme Court found that tribes were in essence restricted from exercising criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians committing crimes in Indian country. Then the TLOA was a federal response to previous restrictions placed on a tribe's criminal sentencing authority.
So those two pieces, when we're thinking about that 86% stat that we talked about earlier, Kate, 86% of the perpetrators against Native women are non-Native, and the tribes restrictions. Okay, now what do we do to keep people safe because we can't prosecute these folks who are committing these crimes against Native women in Indian country. So those two piece, the TLOA, if the tribe can meet the mandates of that they can sentence longer for criminal sentencing.
And also, the Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction allows tribes that can meet certain mandates to exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit three crimes in Indian country. Those three crimes, now it's not an expanded fix for Oliphant but it is a start, those three crimes include domestic violence, dating violence, and violation of a protection order that's committed by a non-Indian against an Indian victim in Indian country.
Now, that's a simplified version. There's some additional federal restrictions put in with respect to the defendant's contact to Indian country, but it is a step. And there are tribes already exercising this. And there's a great report out for people who might be interested, it's the five year report that was authored by The National Congress of American Indians. It's got a lot of statistics in there with respect to the tribes exercising Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction for the past five years. That's really an important report.
TRUJILLO: Great, thank you for recommending that resource. I think oftentimes things can get a little confusing when we're talking about TLOA and VAWA and how developing a court or a docket impacts that in any given tribe. Just to wrap up, could you tell me a little bit about any domestic violence courts or dockets that you know of that are up and running? I know you already mentioned one, but if you had any other that you know of that are up and running that would be really great for our listeners to hear about.
STONER: Sure, I can tell you that to date, as we've done the development of the guide and presented at a variety of different conferences on this topic, that we have not identified any tribal domestic violence courts in operation. Now, there may be some that are called tribal domestic violence courts, but our measurement is is that core case team in place, regular ongoing training, and those features that we talked about that we feel were the earmarks of a tribal domestic violence court.
But with respect to tribal domestic violence dockets there are several, and I'm sure I'm not going to mention all of them. But some that I've been working with as we've done the research for this, there's Sault Ste Marie. Tulalip has a tribal domestic violence docket. And as you mentioned, the Nottawaseppi Band of Huron of the Potawatomi, I'm not sure I got that exactly right. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, they have a tribal domestic violence docket as well. So again, what you call... whether you're calling it a tribal domestic violence court or a tribal domestic violence docket, as we focused on that we really were looking for that core case team and the whole gamut that goes with a tribal domestic violence court, as opposed to a designed docket that might have specially trained folks there.
Kate, if I might give that website for where folks can find the guide when it gets final OVW approval, that would be www.tribal-institute.org. And when the page comes up you'll see at the top there's a bar you can scroll across. Go to Topics. And there's a dropdown box after you push Topics and one of the choices is Tribal Domestic Violence Courts and Dockets there. Be looking for that, there's a lot of information about tribal domestic violence courts on dockets on that page as well.
TRUJILLO: Great, thank you so much for sharing that with us. I know that the more resources the better, and this sounds like a really, really great one. That's all we have for you today. Thank you, Kelly, so much for speaking with us and talking about this really important issue and providing all of your expertise. I really, really appreciate it.
STONER: Thank you for having me and good luck to all the listeners out there. I hope this is a topic that they'll reflect upon and not be intimidated by. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance.
TRUJILLO: Great, thank you so much and have a great rest of your day.
STONER: Thank you.
TRUJILLO: Bye bye.