Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crime increases on reservations; feds promise aid

In response to increasing violence and substance abuse on Indian reservations, the Justice Department is promising funds to provide better communication and resources to solve crimes, Carrie Johnson reports for The Washington Post.

The crime rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is more than twice the national average, and critics argue that there is a severe disparity between the number of agents and size of the land; fewer than 3,000 tribal and federal agents are responsible for enforcing 55 million acres of territory that houses roughly 560 Native American tribes.

Johnson reports that domestic violence are increasing, but law enforcement has been “grossly underfunded,” as cited in a memo from the National Congress of American Indians. Already the stimulus package has grant $248 million for handling some of the other problems reservation law enforcement face; prisons for adult and juvenile offenders that are overcrowded and in disrepair, poor criminal data collection, and violence against women on reservations. (Read more)

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