Tribal Law Enforcement The Legal Responsibilities Of Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Term Paper Paper: #60232838 Related Topics: Law Enforcement, Legal Issues, Federal Laws, Community Policing
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Tribal Law Enforcement

The legal responsibilities of the federal government has been on the increase with each passing year though the basic responsibility of preventing and controlling crime rests with the state, local and the tribal governments for it to be effective. There are several tribal police units that are entrusted with the control of crime and prevention of the same assisted by the tribal judicial systems that have the duty of applying the law. These two bodies, the tribal police and judiciary system are the ultimate expression of tribal sovereignty. These two systems help the nation express it sovereignty since they assist in enacting, enforcing as well as interpreting the national laws at the grassroots level (National Congress of American Indians, 2010).

Nature of Indian law enforcement system

Most of the public safety and criminal justice systems that are in the Indian legal system and Indian Country are funded by the federal government. This has seen an increasing workload handed to the Indian police department in the face of rising crime rates, increased involvement of the police in the social concerns that relate to crime, heightened community demands for police services, yet the Indian police system is struggling to meet all these demand on a very limited resource base. The success so far of this process is from the dedication that is there among the men and women who are working for the Indian Country police department and their professionalism that keeps them going each day of the week.

The nature and reality of the police in Indian country are as below;

The nature of...


This then leaves gaps for the criminal elements that still widely threaten the security of the people and the development as well. There is rarely more than one officer on duty on the regular basis, and even this one officer normally has no adequate backup hence have to keep innovating means of compensating for the lack of backup.

The tribal court system

Despite the fact that there have been efforts to restrain the extent of the tribal justice system, tribes still have the ultimate authority to determine the legal system that govern them and the forums where such can be administered as well as the relationship that exists between the legal body and other governing bodies within or without the tribe. Among the many Indian tribes, the procedures used to handle the conflicts and crimes as well as disputes differ among the Indian Nations. Among many tribes, there is a dual justice system in existence, one that is based on the American paradigm of justice and the second purely based on the indigenous paradigm of justice. It is worth noting as well that some have the hybrid system that resulted out of imposed American style of justice system yet with indigenous philosophy, practices and methods into the court policies, practices and procedures (Vicenti, C.N., 1995).

There are fundamental differences that exist between the American justice system and the Indian tribal justice system that sets them totally apart. The…

Sources Used in Documents:


Ada Pecos Melto Stephen Wall, & Hayes Lewis, (2004). Integrated Justice Systems in American

Indian Communities Planning Series: Understanding the Tribal Justice and Law Enforcement Environment. Retrieved December 4, 2011 from

Fairbanks, C.D. (1991), Mediation in the Tribal Courts: Revitalizing Traditional Concepts of Justice, paper presented at the Native American Rights Fund National Conference, Dispute Resolution: A Reaffirmation of Indian Concepts of Justice, sponsored by the Indian Law Support Center.

National Congress of American Indians, (2010). Law Enforcement and Tribal Courts. Retrieved December 4, 2011 from

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