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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Tribal Data

Are tribal governments eligible for JABG awards?

Yes. Part III of HR3 includes in its definition of "local unit of government":   "...the recognized governing body of an Indian tribe or Alaskan Native village that carries out substantial governmental duties and powers."

Does this mean that all tribal governments are eligible for JABG awards?

Yes. The 562 federally-recognized tribal governments all have substantial governmental duties and powers.

How can I get a list of federally-recognized tribes in my state?

A list of federally-recognized tribes by state can be found online. A full list of federally-recognized tribes, listed alphabetically, has also been published in the Federal Register (Vol. 75, No. 190, 10/1/10).

There is an Indian tribe in my state that performs criminal justice functions but is not on the BIA list. Is it eligible for an award? What about tribes that are not federally-recognized?

Possibly. A number of Indian tribes and groups in the U.S. do not have a federally-recognized status, meaning they have no relations with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and we have no data for them. However, some tribes that are not federally-recognized are state-recognized and are eligible for a JABG formula award if the state determines: (1) that the tribe carries out substantial governmental duties and powers, (2) data are available, and (3) the tribe meets JABG requirements. Even if complete data are not available, the state can always assist tribes who qualify for less than $10,000 using JABG state funds and funds accumulated from all state jurisdictions whose awards would be less than $10,000. Please contact the JABG Technical Support Center and we will help you determine eligibility and try to locate data that could be used in the formula.

What Uniform Crime Reporting Part 1 violent crime data are available for tribes?

Very few tribal police report Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data directly to the FBI or through a state UCR program. However, the BIA does collect some crime information on a volunatary basis. BIA then aggregates these reports into a single report that it makes to the Department of Interior (DOI), which then reports the data along with data for other DOI law enforcement agencies (such as the U.S. Park Police) to the Uniform Crime Reporting Section of the FBI. The aggregated numbers appear at the end of table 11 in the FBI's annual Crime in the United States report, but data for individual tribes are not published.

BIA previously made some data, in hard copy format, available to JRSA for use in the JABG formula. Data were not available for all federally-recognized tribes, and data quality varied from year to year and from tribe to tribe. As a result, states were given the option of whether to include these data in the formula calculations.

Are the Part 1 violent crime data for Indian tribes included in the Formula Calculations Worksheet on the JABG web site?

If state administrators opt to use the BIA data, all the available tribal Part 1 violet crime data that were used included in the FBI's data file are included in the JABG spreadsheets.  All data sets are available upon request.

What justice expenditure data are available for tribes from the Census Bureau?

None. The Census Bureau does not collect any expenditure data for tribal governments.

Are there other Federal sources of financial data for tribal governments?

Yes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) previously provided some law enforcement funding data for tribal governments. These data represented BIA grants to Indian tribes for law enforcement purposes. The BIA funding data could have been used by the states in the JABG allocation process to improve the probability of tribal awards in the absence of Census Bureau expenditure data.

The BIA funding data have some shortcomings, however, that the states should be aware of:

(1) These amounts are reports of what BIA awarded to the tribes for law enforcement purposes. The amounts are not audited to determine if they actually were used for law enforcement.

(2) The amounts do not represent all potential sources of revenue for tribal law enforcement. Other federal agencies award grants to Indian tribes for criminal justice purposes. Also, some tribes may provide funding from their own revenue sources for tribal justice programs. Ideally, expenditures from all revenue sources should be used in the formula computations for tribal governments just as expenditures from all revenue sources are included in the Census Bureau data for general purpose local governments.

(3) Some tribes may have justice functions other than law enforcement, for example tribal courts and jails, that may not be reflected in the data that have been provided by BIA.

The Law Enforcement Program Reports also include direct cost information for tribes.   The data provided by participating tribes are available upon request.

Are the BIA funding data included in the Formula Calculations Worksheet on the JABG web site?

Only for states that requested it. The BIA funding data do not undergo the same data checks that the FBI's or the Census Bureau's data do. As a result, the data are provided for each state to review to determine if the data are the best possible data available.  

Is my state required to include the BIA data in its calculations?

No. Although the legislation does include federally-recognized tribal nations, the necessary expenditure data may not currently be available. The BIA funding data and Law Enforcement Program Report data are offered to states as an approximation of the specified expenditure data to include as the states see fit. However, states should endeavor to determine eligibility for each "recognized body of an Indian tribe or Alaskan native village that carries out substantial governmental duties and powers" as appropriate. It is the state's responsibility to make sure that the best available data are used.

Can my state use the crime and expenditure data provided by JRSA and supplement these with self-gathered tribal data?

Yes. If these data are available to states, they are encouraged to incorporate these data with the data provided by JRSA. If you need help compiling a merged data file, please contact the JABG Technical Support Center  for assistance.  It is recommended that the tribal data years match the data years used for the other local units of government in the state.

The Tribal data table shows the mailing address of the head of the tribal police agency. Is that who should get the JABG award?

No. The tribal police agency address is provided to help you locate the tribe the data are provided for. Names and addresses of the tribes' chief executive officers are available in the list of tribal leaders on the BIA website.  Please contact the JABG Technical Support Center if you encounter difficulty in finding the appropriate addresses.