Hoeven Holds Indian Affairs Hearing to Advance Tribal Law Enforcement, Victim Services Legislation
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today held a hearing to advance two pieces of legislation he introduced to improve public safety and victim services in Indian Country:
- The Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act of 2017.
- The Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017.
“Despite high rates of victimization, tribes only receive about $30 million from the Crime Victims Fund each year out of a $3 billion funding cap,” said Hoeven. “The SURVIVE Act makes important reforms to strengthen services for crime victims in tribal communities. At the same time, we are working to reauthorize and enhance critical programs to improve public safety in Indian Country, including efforts to address human trafficking, juvenile justice and the lack of adequate detention space for violent offenders.”
Hoeven was joined at the hearing by David Flute, chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, to highlight the need for greater support for tribal law enforcement and victim services.
The SURVIVE Act
The bipartisan SURVIVE Act expands resources for tribal victim assistance by requiring a 5 percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), amounting to $150 million per year, be provided to Indian tribes through a fair and competitive grant program. This would provide tribes with flexibility to determine the programs and services that will best meet the needs of their communities, including emergency shelters, medical care, counseling, legal assistance and child and elder abuse programs. The CVF is funded by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders.
The Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act
Hoeven’s legislation reauthorizes and extends critical programs under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and adds additional requirements to improve public safety in Indian Country. The bill is based on hearings, roundtables and listening sessions held with the tribes, as well as recommendations from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Justice and other tribal public safety advocates. Among other things, it directs the Department of Justice to improve data collection on Native American victims of human trafficking. The bill text can be found here.
Next Article Previous Article