A Coachella Valley tribe is among the recipients of grants awarded Wednesday by the Department of Justice to improve public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The Cahuilla Band of Indians was awarded $450,000 from the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, which distributes grant funding for programs aimed at reducing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
About $113 million in grants were awarded to a total of 133 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and other tribal designees to “help tribes develop, expand and improve services to victims of crime by providing funding, programming and technical assistance,” according to a DOJ statement.
Around $53 million of that total comes from the Office of Justice Programs, $35 million from the Office on Violence Against Women, and $24.7 million from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
The DOJ announced it is in the process of allocating up to $133 million in a “first-ever set aside program” intended to help tribes develop, expand and improve services to victims of crime by providing funding, programming and technical assistance. Recipients will be announced in the near future, according to the DOJ.
“With these awards, we are doubling the amount of grant funding devoted to public safety programs and serving victims of crime in Native American communities,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, who made the announcement at the 26th annual Four Corners Indian Country Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“There is an unacceptable level of violent crime and domestic abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” Panuccio said. “This increase in resources, together with our aggressive investigation and prosecution of crimes, shows how seriously Attorney General (Jeff) Sessions and the entire Department of Justice take these issues.”