Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction Reimbursement
Note: Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before June 12, 2023. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of that day. To view the document, submit for comments or for more information click “View Federal Register” below.
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The Government to Government Consultation: OVW Tribal Jurisdiction Reimbursement Program!The Office on Violence Against Women hosted a Government-to-Government Consultation: OVW Tribal Jurisdiction Reimbursement Program virtually on July 27-28, 2022. VAWA 2022 required that the Attorney General issue regulations by March 15, 2023, establishing rules for reimbursements of Tribal governments for expenses incurred in exercising special Tribal criminal jurisdiction. To meet this deadline, OVW determined that a special Tribal consultation dedicated to this subject is necessary.
The public was invited to attend. However, only tribally elected and appointed leaders or their authorized designees were authorized to provide testimony. The Chickasaw Speaker Management team was available to assist tribal leaders with testimony preparation, to include support in prerecording testimony.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) recognized the inherent authority of participating Tribes to exercise “special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction” (SDVCJ) over certain defendants, regardless of their Indian or non-Indian status, who commit crimes of domestic violence or dating violence or violate certain protection orders in Indian country. The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022) amended this statute, effective October 1, 2022, to cover additional crimes, among other changes to the jurisdiction, and renamed it “special Tribal criminal jurisdiction.” The list of “covered crimes” is:
- assault of Tribal justice personnel;
- child violence, dating violence, domestic violence;
- obstruction of justice, sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking; and
- violation of a protection order.
VAWA 2022 also authorized a new program to reimburse Tribal governments for expenses incurred in exercising special Tribal criminal jurisdiction. Eligible expenses for reimbursement under the statute include the following:
- investigating, making arrests relating to, making apprehensions for, or prosecuting covered crimes (including costs involving the purchasing, collecting, and processing of sexual assault forensic materials);
- detaining, providing supervision of, or providing services for persons charged with covered crimes (including costs associated with providing health care);
- providing indigent defense services for 1 or more persons charged with 1 or more covered crimes; and
- incarcerating, supervising, or providing treatment, rehabilitation, or reentry services for 1 or more persons charged with 1 or more covered crimes.
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