California Bar Journal

By Diane Curtis

Native American Women ilustrationDomestic violence and sexual assaults are complicated crimes in any setting, but in California Indian Country, the opportunities for confusion, errors and misunderstanding in reporting, prosecuting and counseling are even greater.

Jurisdiction isn’t always clear. Distrust of law enforcement outside the reservation is widespread. Tribal police and courts sometimes lack the authority they need to see that justice is done. Data is not easily exchanged between different law enforcement groups. Many of the crimes are committed in very isolated areas difficult to reach by non-tribal police or sheriff’s deputies.

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