Strengthening and Rebuilding Tribal Justice Systems: A Participatory Outcomes Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) Project

Citation

Wakeling, Stewart, Miriam Jorgensen, Stephen Brimley, Joseph Thomas Flies Away, Carrie Garrow, Hayes Lewis, Paul Robertson, and Yvoneda Thompson. 2007. Strengthening and Rebuilding Tribal Justice Systems: A Participatory Outcomes Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) Project. In Final Report to the U.S. Department of Justice. Tucson: Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy.

Research Goals and Objectives. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) conceived a multi- year partnership with three Indian nations—the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Pueblo of Zuni—to strengthen the tribes’ justice systems. Through this initiative, called the Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) Project, USDOJ helped the participating tribes implement strategies for making the individual components of their justice systems work better together in addressing crime and related social problems. This report considers the outcomes of the CIRCLE Project, for which federal funding culminated in fiscal years 2002 and 2003.

Research Design and Methodology. Several constraints shaped the CIRCLE outcomes evaluation: CIRCLE’s implementation period was short; participants’ goals evolved; tribal data capacities were variable; significant portions of the evaluation were retrospective; and the entire evaluation process was participatory. Together, these facts generated a situation in which asking “What are the results of CIRCLE for your nation?” provided few helpful answers.

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