Criminal Law and Governmental Ethics

Ethical Discussion Between Government and Indian Affairs

Tribal Justice Agencies

As sovereigns recognized as such by the United States to enjoy certain powers of self-government, majority of tribes have come up with their own criminal justice programs.  Majority of these programs get at least partial financing from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Department of Justice.  The tribal governments generally have some combination of police departments, criminal investigation units, office of crime victim services, courts, detention facility, and probation or parole department.  Tribal criminal justice agencies characteristics can vary.  For instance, most departments of tribal police are somewhat small with officers usually less than 25; however, at least each tribe employs police officers to a tune of over 300.  Great variations do exist with other agencies of tribal criminal justice.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Office of Bureau of Indian Affairs of Justice Services (formerly called the Office of Law Enforcement Services) offers corrections services and law enforcement to tribes that are subject to federal criminal jurisdictions, but are yet to come up with their own tribal law enforcements or correctives programs.  This Office also offers training usually carried out at the Indian Police Academy (situated in Artesia, New Mexico), and assists with tribal court developments, offers inspections of programs, and carries out internal affairs investigations.

Below are important steps of federal criminal process:

Each state has got its own court systems and set of regulations for handling criminal cases. Below are a few examples that distinguish between the federal and the state criminal process.

Titles Of People Involved

The State cases are handled by prosecutors and district attorneys; federal cases on the other hand are brought by Attorneys of the United States. State court trial judge has a several titles, however, a federal judge is called district court judge. The criminal defense attorneys who handle such matters for the accused can be described as follows

Federal magistrate or judges are the titles who handle federal cases and hear initial matters (for example pre-trial motions), but the judges usually do not decide cases.

The use of grand jury attorneys to charge defendants is not allowed by all states, though it’s needed in felony cases if the defendant does not waive the grand jury indictment.