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National Survey of Tribal Court Systems Descriptive Brochures — Expect Surveys to Arrive in February 2015

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Details from the DOJ:


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is pleased to announce that it will conduct the 2014 National Survey of Tribal Court Systems (NSTCS). As the statistical agency for the Department of Justice, BJS is responsible for the collection, analysis, publication, and dissemination of statistical information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operations of criminal justice systems at all levels of government. The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 mandates BJS “establish and implement such tribal data collection systems as the BJS Director determines to be necessary.” On behalf of BJS, Kauffman & Associates, Inc. (KAI), a Native-owned research firm, will administer the survey.

Implementation of the NSTCS is part of a multifaceted effort by BJS to expand statistical activities related to tribal crime and justice issues. In support of BJS’s efforts, KAI will contact the approximately 200 to 300 federally recognized tribal justice systems in the United States and gather information about the following topical areas:

  • Tribal Justice Systems
  • Tribal Court Administration
  • Appellate Systems
  • Tribal Court System Operations
  • Tribal Prosecution
  • Public Defense and Civil Legal Services
  • Pretrial, Probation and Reentry Programs and Services
  • Juvenile Cases
  • Domestic Violence and Protection Orders
  • Enhanced Sentencing Authority
  • Information Systems Access and Data Entry


WHO:    Each federally recognized tribe in the U.S. will be contacted to verify and determine the operation of a recognized judicial system.

WHAT: Respondents will complete an automated instrument or paper version and submit to KAI.

WHEN:  Tribal courts should expect to receive the survey materials during the first week of February 2015.

WHY:     The NSTCS will provide long-term benefits for tribes, update the 2002 Census of Tribal Agencies, serve as an authenticated source for tribal court statistics, foster greater transparency in addressing the problems of crime and justice in Indian Country, and enrich tribal eligibility for justice program funding resources, prevention programs, and justice services.

WHERE: Tribes may find additional information on the NSTCS via the website:, by phone at 1-877-528-4025, or by email at

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