Indian Country Today Media Network: Indian Law and Order Commission: Shelving This Report Is a Huge Mistake

By Tanya Lee
January 22, 2014

Radical, revolutionary, exceptional or just plain common sense are some of the terms used to describe “A Roadmap to Making Native America Safer,” the result of two years’ work by the nine-member Indian Law and Order Commission established by the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.

For more than 200 years Congress has consistently passed legislation that deeply erodes the authority of tribal justice systems. The TLOA began to reverse that trend by increasing tribal courts’ sentencing authority, and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 again enhanced tribal judicial authority to some extent. The TLOA also called for the establishment of a commission to make recommendations as to how to improve public safety in Indian country in response to skyrocketing crime rates.