- From the Department of Justice Journal of Federal Law and Practice
This bill increases the coordination of efforts to reduce violent crime within Indian lands and against Indians.
Specifically, the Department of the Interior must designate an official within the Bureau of Indian Affairs to coordinate prevention efforts, grants, and programs related to missing Indians and the murder and human trafficking of Indians.
In addition, Interior and the Department of Justice (DOJ) must (1) establish a joint commission on violent crime within Indian lands and against Indians, and (2) submit a written response to the recommendations developed by the joint commission.
The joint commission must develop and make publicly available recommendations to Interior and DOJ on actions to combat violent crime against Indians and within Indian lands, including recommendations for identifying, reporting, and responding to instances of missing persons, murder, and human trafficking.
This bill directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review, revise, and develop law enforcement and justice protocols to address missing or murdered Native Americans.
The bill requires DOJ to provide training to law enforcement agencies on how to record tribal enrollment for victims in federal databases; develop and implement a strategy to educate the public on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System; conduct specific outreach to tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations regarding the ability to publicly enter information through the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System or other non-law enforcement sensitive portal; develop regionally appropriate guidelines for response to cases of missing or murdered Native Americans; provide training and technical assistance to tribes and law enforcement agencies for implementation of the developed guidelines; and report statistics on missing or murdered Native Americans. Tribes may submit their own guidelines to DOJ that respond to cases of missing or murdered Native Americans.
Additionally, the bill authorizes DOJ to provide grants for the purposes of (1) developing and implementing policies and protocols for law enforcement regarding cases of missing or murdered Native Americans, and (2) compiling and annually reporting data relating to missing or murdered Native Americans.
Federal law enforcement agencies must modify their guidelines to incorporate the guidelines developed by DOJ.
Finally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation must include gender in its annual statistics on missing and unidentified persons published on its website.
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*NICCSA is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy (www.swclap.org) This project is supported by Grant No. 2017-SA-AX-K001, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.