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Adult and Juvenile Wellness Court Expansion Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $320,000)

The Justice Department's grant-making components have created a streamlined approach for federally recognized Tribes, Tribal consortia, Alaska Native villages and corporations, as well as authorized tribal designees to apply for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 funding opportunities. The Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) serves as a single solicitation for existing tribal government-specific grant programs administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The CTAS solicitation is designed to assist tribes with addressing crime and public safety issues in a comprehensive manner. The CTAS grant-application process was inspired by and developed after consultation with tribal leaders, including sessions at the Justice Department's Tribal Nations Listening Session in 2009, and has been updated based on continued tribal consultations and listening sessions. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides awards under CTAS Purpose Area 8--Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts. The overall goal of this program is to enhance the capacity of tribal courts to respond to the alcohol-related issues of youth under the age of 21. This can include the development of a new juvenile healing to wellness court or enhancements to an existing tribal healing to wellness court.

Three Northern California tribes have joined together to create the Northern California Intertribal Court System (NCICS), serving the following tribes: Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria, and Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. Based on the community priorities set forth in their BJA Approved Strategic Plan, they are now requesting funding for the development of a Juvenile Wellness Court (JWC), Youth Council, and Youth Court Program (YCP). They also plan on establishing proper relationships with county partners in order to defer cases committed by tribal members off the reservations back to the JWC for probation supervision.

All three tribes have active tribal courts but lack resources to deal with juvenile crime. The JWC will help alleviate this issue by linking offenders to services available in the surrounding county. The Youth Council will consist of tribal members, all under the age of 21, which will provide input into the planning of the JWC. The YCP will be a volunteer run program, with community members that are under the age of 21. When a juvenile offender pleads guilty and the judge deems appropriate, juvenile cases will be deferred to the YCP and the volunteers will play all roles in court, including judge, jury, and attorneys. This provides all participants the unique chance to have a positive experience with the court system. When offenders graduate successfully from the YCP, they will then have the opportunity to volunteer for future cases.

The program will hold Law Days at each tribe to educate the community on available services. The program will establish relationships with key service providers in the county for alcohol and substance abuse issues, and establish agreements with the county court to have cases that are committed off the reservation by tribal members deferred to the tribes for probation supervision. The program plans on hiring a Substance Abuse Counselor as well as a Defense Advocate to ensure all the needs of the juvenile offender are met in order to guarantee success. The JWC and its programs will provide the youth of all their tribes a chance for real change through a culturally appropriate, well supervised probationary program


Date Created: September 16, 2015