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Indian Law and Order Commission Report Released

November 12, 2013

The report, “A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer" was released on November 12, 2013, a day ahead of the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel’s recommendations included giving tribes more control over crimes on their land, including an expansion of authority to prosecute non-Indians.

Among its recommendations, the report highlighted Healing to Wellness Courts as one of the recommended alternatives to incarceration.

“…[C]reating and maintain fair, restorative, culturally compatible, and community healing justice institutions is primary goal of many Indian nations.” Pg. 131

Tribes are specifically encouraged to develop and enhance drug courts, wellness courts, residential treatment programs, combine substance abuse treatment-mental health care programs, electronic monitoring programs, veterans’ courts, clean and sober housing facilities, halfway houses, and other diversion and reentry options, and to develop data and further inform the prioritization of alternatives to detention.” Recommendation 5.1

Specifically, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Joint Jurisdiction Wellness Court was highlighted as an example of tribal alternative to detention: ”Using drug court and wellness court principles, the program provides holistic, culturally relevant services that address the sources of offenders problems rather than simply the symptoms.” Pg. 126

Learn more about the commission and read the report at



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