Thirty tribes selected for expansion of program enhancing tribal access to national crime information databases

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Press Pool

Department of Justice Tribal Access Program will continue to improve the exchange of critical data

News Release

United States Department of Justice

The Department of Justice has selected an additional 30 Indian tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP), a program that provides federally recognized tribes the ability to access and exchange data with national crime information databases for both criminal and non-criminal justice purposes.

“The Tribal Access Program is strengthening tribal governance and public safety in tribal communities across the United States,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Tribal Access Program provides law enforcement and tribal governments real-time access to data that can help locate a missing person, identify a dangerous fugitive or prevent a domestic abuser from obtaining a gun, among many other important functions. The Trump administration is committed to fixing these public safety gaps and serving victims in Indian country. I believe the expansion of this law enforcement tool will prove to be critical in achieving those goals.”

The Tribal Access Program is currently deployed to more than 75 tribes across the country with over 300 participating tribal justice agencies. The program provides software to enable tribes to access national crime information databases and/or a kiosk-workstation that provides the ability to submit and query fingerprint-based transactions via FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Next Generation Identification (NGI) System.

This fifth expansion of the Tribal Access Program is part of the Justice Department’s continuing focus on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, allowing tribes to more effectively serve and protect their communities by ensuring the exchange of critical data with federal and state databases.

On November 22, Attorney General Barr launched a national strategy to address the issues surrounding missing and murdered Native Americans, and the Tribal Access Program provides the ability for participating tribes to exchange data with FBI Criminal Justice Information Services, including data on missing persons from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

In October, the Justice Department announced an unprecedented $273 million in grants to improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women, and support youth programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

The following tribes have been selected for the next phase of the Tribal Access Program:

Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan

Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, California

Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes

Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, Montana

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Fort Mojave Indian Tribe of Arizona, California & Nevada

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska

Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe

Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Nisqually Indian Tribe

Nooksack Indian Tribe

Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Pueblo of Pojoaque, New Mexico

Pueblo of Taos, New Mexico

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin

San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona

San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California

The Chickasaw Nation

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation

The Osage Nation

Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)

Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California (Carson Colony, Dresslerville Colony, Woodfords Community, Stewart Community & Washoe Ranches)

Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

The Tribal Access Program enhances tribal efforts to register sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), have orders of protection enforced off-reservation, protect children, keep firearms away from persons who are disqualified from receiving them, improve safety within public housing, and allows tribes to record their arrests and convictions in national databases.

The Tribal Access Program supports tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information with appropriate solutions, including a state-of-the-art biometric/biographic kiosk-workstation with capabilities to process finger and palm prints, take mugshots and submit records to national databases, as well as the ability to access Criminal Justice Information Services systems for criminal and non-criminal justice purposes through the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Information Network. The Tribal Access Program, which is managed by the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Tribal Justice, provides specialized training and assistance for participating tribes, including computer-based training and on-site instruction, as well as a 24/7 help desk.

Recent success stories from the Tribal Access Program include:

  • A tribal foster care program conducted fingerprint-based record checks of a couple who applied to be foster parents. The prints, which were searched via the Tribal Access Program biometric kiosk-workstation, revealed that one of the applicants had an extensive criminal record, including a manslaughter charge. The Tribal Access Program allowed the tribal foster care program to quickly learn this information and thus cease the licensing process.
  • A tribal police department utilized Tribal Access Program to develop leads that eventually resulted in the arrest of a suspect and seizure of 400 counterfeit OxyContin pills laced with fentanyl.
  • A tribal child protective services program conducted a name-based check of subjects under investigation for child abuse/neglect. One subject was determined to have an active warrant. A second subject was found to have an extensive violent criminal history and be the subject of an order of protection issued in another state. The tribal child protective services program promptly notified law enforcement of the outstanding warrant.
  • A tribal court entered information into national databases to prevent a person with a prior domestic violence conviction who was threatening a former spouse from purchasing a firearm.
  • A tribal sex offender registry program has entered all tribally-registered sex offenders into the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) file, information which is accessible to all law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The Tribal Access Program is primarily funded by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART); the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The Tribal Access Program prioritized tribal applicants that have a law enforcement agency currently unable to access the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services databases; have a tribal sex offender registry pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act and are currently unable to easily submit data to national crime information databases; and/or have a tribal court which issues orders of protection in domestic violence cases.

For more information on the Tribal Access Program, visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal-access-program-tap.

For more information about the Justice Department’s work on tribal justice, public safety issues and victim services, visit www.justice.gov/tribal.

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