Federal prisons to accept some tribal convicts

Washington (AP) November 2010
Federal prisons are opening their doors to some felons convicted in tribal courts.

The Justice Department says up to 100 American Indian prisoners at a time will be sent to federal prisons for the next four years as part of a pilot program outlined in the Tribal Law and Order Act.

President Barack Obama signed the act into law earlier this year. It is designed to improve security on reservations. The program will only affect tribal prisoners convicted of serious violent crimes.

The act also calls for better training of tribal police, expands the sentencing authority of tribal courts from one to three years and improves the reporting of Indian crime data.