Indian Country criminal prosecutions plateau
The Associated Press - November 21, 2018 11:37 am
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Federal figures show the number of Indian Country crimes that the U.S. Justice Department prosecutes has not shown significant change in recent years, despite new programs and attempts to boost public safety on reservations and prosecution rates on sexual assaults and other crimes.
The Justice Department report obtained by The Associated Press shows U.S. attorneys’ offices declined to prosecute 37 percent of the Indian Country cases they considered resolved in 2017. That figure was up three points from 2016.
The report shows federal prosecutors usually decided to drop cases after determining they didn’t have enough evidence to go to trial.
A quarter of the unprosecuted cases stemmed from reported sexual assaults. A third resulted from other reported assaults, a crime category that includes domestic violence cases.
The report comes amid heightened concerns in Congress and tribal communities over crimes against Native American women.