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Funding available for tribal governments to support public safety

By: - December 21, 2021 4:30 pm

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during an event at the Justice Department on June 15, 2021. Photo by Win McNamee | Getty Images

Tribal governments can go after funding to help their communities in the areas of crime prevention, victim services and coordinated community responses to violence against Indigenous women.

The funding is available through the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the 2022 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) period. CTAS is administered by the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

“Supporting public safety efforts in Indian country is a solemn responsibility and a top priority of the Department of Justice, and it is a duty that we are working hard to fulfill,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon of OJP  in a press release.

The funding coming from OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Office for Victims of Crime, and the department’s COPS Office, can be used for a variety of public safety and justice-related projects and services.

For instance they can be used to support tribal law enforcement, strengthen adult and juvenile justice systems, support tribal youth programs, help Indigenous victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse as well as support other efforts to combat crime.

“We have heard from tribal leaders about their biggest challenges and have responded by improving access to federal resources and ensuring that our investments are responsive to the needs of their communities and the people they serve,” Solomon said in a press release.

The Department of Justice made 137 awards, totaling almost $74 million, to 85 tribes in the last year, accordinging to the Justice Department. The department incorporated feedback from meetings with Tribal Nations, listening sessions, consultations and assessments into the 2022 CTAS and the result has been able to  streamline the solicitation as well as the application process, reducing the burden on applicants.

The CTAS offers funding in seven areas: Public Safety and Community Policing, Comprehensive Tribal Justice Systems Strategic Planning, Tribal Justice Systems Program, Tribal Justice System Infrastructure Program, Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities, Juvenile Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts and Tribal Youth Program.

“The COPS Office is excited to once again partner in this extremely important initiative to help our colleagues in Indian country,” said Acting Director Robert Chapman of the COPS Office in a press release.

In 2020, the COPS Office awarded 41 tribes with funding, including three tribes from Arizona.

“Any opportunity we have to provide officers, equipment, training and other tools to these communities is an opportunity we are excited to offer and we look forward to eligible applicants taking advantage of this funding.”

Details about the application and how to apply can be found on the Department of Justice website at: https://www.justice.gov/tribal/open-solicitations.

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Shondiin Silversmith
Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona's 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues. Her digital, print and audio stories have been published by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, Navajo Times, The GroundTruth Project and PRX's "The World." Silversmith earned her master's degree in journalism and mass communication in Boston before moving back to Arizona to continue reporting stories on Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Native American Journalist Association and has made it a priority in her career to advocate, pitch and develop stories surrounding Indigenous communities in the newsrooms she works in.