The Hopi of northern Arizona were among the first in the nation to increase criminal sentences under the law. The tribe spent 18 months updating criminal codes to create a new class of felonies that could result in more jail time for convicted offenders.
Few tribes have put together all the pieces required to boost jail time, but progress is being made on other fronts. The Southern Utes in Colorado are now contracting with the federal government to hold detainees. On South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux reservation, tribal officials worked with the U.S. attorney’s office to create a diversion program to keep juveniles out of trouble.
In Montana, special teams made up of tribal and federal officials were established last summer to investigate sexual assault cases.