September 21, 2009

Feds search for answers to tribal violence

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Federal officials are meeting for two days this week with tribal leaders in Albuquerque to discuss gang violence and other law enforcement issues on reservations. According to Alysa Landry of The Daily Times, the meetings are part of the Tribal National Listening Conference convened by Attorney General Eric Holder, the first such conference since 1994.

Loopholes in law enforcement procedures have hampered arrests on reservations. Tribes have been asking for funding and assistance with jail facilities and court processes.

Despite chronic problems with violence, there are fewer than 100 jail beds for 27,000 square-miles of Navajo reservation land. According to the Associated Press, Native Americans are victims of violent crime at more than twice the national rate. Methamphetamine use is also on the rise.

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