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Mon July 25, 2011
Tribes to get information to fight crime
By Tristan Ahtone
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming assistant attorney general Affie Ellis says with the release of a compendium of Tribal Crime earlier this month - tribal law enforcement will have one more tool to fight crime in Indian Country. The data set is the first of its kind and is required to be collected under the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Ellis was appointed to the Tribal Law and Order Commission by Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, by recommendation of Wyoming Senator John Barrasso in December. She says the next step for the commission will be to meet face to face with tribes over the information released.
"We're interested in getting to as many BIA regions as we can in the next year or so, so as soon as that information becomes available of a schedule and possible topics we'll be discussing at field hearings, I certainly hope that the commission would want to visit with the tribes in Wyoming and definitely encourage the commission to visit the wind river tribes if possible."
Crime statistics from Indian Country typically show that rates are nearly double the national average. On some reservations, crime rates can be 20 times national numbers. And Ellis says she hopes the commission will be able to give tribal courts broader law enforcement authority in the future.