Tribal Court Awarded Federal Grant

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The Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court of Appeals is pleased to announce that it has received the U.S. Bureau of Justice “Tribal Courts Assistance Program” grant.  The award, in the amount of $175,000 over the next two years, will enhance the operations of the Tribal Courts by improving indigent juvenile defense.

Currently, only a small percentage of juvenile and indigent defendants are provided with legal representation in court cases.  The new Juvenile Justice Advocacy Program will address the increasing need for legal representation for juvenile defendants by assigning advocates to provide defense services, counseling and advocacy, for and on behalf of court-involved Tribal youth.  These advocates, recruited primarily from the University of Arizona Law School, will help ensure that children’s best interests are consistently represented in the Tribal Court. 

This grant award further affirms the Tribal Courts’ commitment to protect and advance the legal and human rights of Pascua Yaqui tribal members, and of children in particular.  Initial projections by court administration indicate that 25 to 40% of court-involved youth will receive advocacy services in the first program year.   Participation is anticipated to increase to between 70 and 80% in the second program year.