The federal government awarded the Southern Ute Indian Tribe almost $400,000 to expand direct victim services and trauma-informed personnel support – part of a nationwide effort to improve victim services in Native American communities, U.S. Department of Justice officials announced this week.
The Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime gave the Southern Ute tribe $391,425 as part of a nationwide effort to support crime victims in Native American communities. Native American communities “experience violent crimes at rates far greater than the general population,” according to the National Institute of Justice.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe plans to use the money to buy new supplies, pay for staff training and purchase new equipment for forensic medical services, child forensic interviews and clinical therapeutic services for crime victims, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
“American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims continue to face challenges in identifying vital services and resources needed to help survivors address their trauma and navigate a complex system,” said Office for Victims of Crime Director Darlene Hutchinson in the release. “The Justice Department has made it a priority to partner with tribes to help victims and their families rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence.”
An Office for Victims of Crime spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., did not respond to a request for comment.
“The Southern Ute Victims Services Department will be utilizing this funding to strengthen the capacity for implementation of victim services through improved response and support,” said Lindsay Box, spokeswoman for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. “With the help of this funding, our community will become safer and when these paramount services are dispatched, victims of these horrible crimes will be rendered the resources they deserve.”