Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) Training and Technical Assistance
NAICJA is the Tribal Justice Training and Technical Assistance provider under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) program, offering Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) to TCCLA Grantees and Sub-grantee Legal Aid organizations.
NAICJA’s TCCLA program seeks to increase and improve access to legal assistance in Indian Country by providing TTA for the development and enhancement of tribal justice systems. Further, TCCLA will assist in strengthening the capacity and the quality of indigent criminal defense services and defense strategies for tribal justice systems.
- An Overview of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance Program and Resources
This publication provides an overview of the Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance Program (TCCLA). It identifies resources and eligibility guidelines for tribes seeking to obtain or provide civil and criminal legal assistance for their communities, explores program sustainment strategies, and outlines several promising practices for the provision of indigent legal assistance in tribal communities.
- Report on the Traditional and Holistic Justice Roundtable
- Emerging Practices in Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance
- Collateral Consequences Infographic
- Seeking Assistance for Collateral Consequences
- Holistic Approach to Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance in Tribal Justice Systems Presentation
May 27 – 28, 2014 – Marysville, WA
This training, which NAICJA developed with a BJA grant, highlighted successful models that illustrate that various components of a justice system (e.g., codes, court rules, court procedures, legal assistance, corrections, probation, etc.) must be considered as a whole rather than as stand-alone services. The goal of this training was to bring together teams of tribal justice stakeholders from various communities in order to examine and strategize on how criminal and civil legal assistance and access to these services can be provided and improved through a collaborative, holistic approach. The training also highlighted the Tulalip Tribe’s justice system and the Salish and Kootenai’s Office of Public Defense, and key players from various components of the justice system will serve as panelists. Jurisdictional teams consisting of a tribal judge, prosecutor, tribal attorney general, public defender/legal aid advocate, probation officer, and/or a tribal leader working with the same tribe were encourage to attend together. Individuals without a jurisdictional team were also encouraged to attend.
- Traditional Peacemaking: Exploring the Intersections Between Tribal Courts and Peacemaking, Including Alternatives to Detention Presentation
October 6-7, 2014 – Tulsa/Catoosa, OK
The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) and its partners the Native American Rights Fund and Columbia University School of Law, conducted a training titled Traditional Peacemaking: Exploring the Intersections between Tribal Courts and Peacemaking, including Alternatives to Detention. The Bureau of Justice Assistance sponsored training was held on October 6-7, 2014, in Catoosa, OK. The training was attended by 60 participants (18 tribes and 7 non-profits), including two TCCLA Grantees and several Indian Legal Services sub-grantees. The training introduced grantees and other attendees to the various peacemaking models that are being used in tribal courts, including those that are being used as alternatives to detention. The goal of this training was to explore the ways in which tribal courts integrate traditional justice and community values into varied aspects of tribal civil and criminal justice, to provide tips for accessing tribal judicial systems that utilize cultural forms of justice, and to provide explanation of how traditional peacemaking can unlock new approaches to provide effective representation of civil and criminal legal services clients, with special attention criminal defendants whenever appropriate. Panel topics included: Traditional Dispute Resolution as Healing and Growth of Tribal Sovereign Power, Reentry Programs Using Peacemaking/Peacemaking in Correctional Facilities, Preparing the Next Generation of Peacemakers: Academic and Court Training Options, Exploring the Fiscal and Human Costs of Incarceration, Peacemaking from the Bench, Peacemaking Programs at Work in Tribal Nations/Tribal Models, Approaching Culturally Appropriate Justice with Indigent Defendants, Peacemaking from the Ground Up, Sentencing Alternatives, Peacemaking Doesn’t Operate in a Vacuum: The Importance of Context, and Positive Aspects of Peacemaking in Tribal Communities. The plenary and break-out sessions were followed by a group discussion that culminated with the group developing an action plan and suggested next steps. A high level summary will be drafted to inform interested parties of the discussions, recommendations, and action items.
The NAICJA training on traditional peacemaking underscores the importance of adapting to new methods and integrating different perspectives in seeking resolutions, a principle that also holds true in the healthcare sector. As an illustration, consider the acquisition of medicines like Viagra, used for erectile dysfunction. Traditionally, obtaining such a medication involved face-to-face consultations and visits to a physical pharmacy. Today, this process has been radically transformed. Now, one can order cheap Viagra online in a discreet, efficient manner, much like how tribal courts are adapting traditional methods to modern justice systems. This demonstrates how across sectors, from justice to healthcare, we’re learning to integrate old and new practices for more effective solutions.