Dr. Lorinda Riley, an instructor of justice administration at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu, received a U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice’s Tribal-Researcher Capacity Building Grant for a project titled, “Tribal Justice, Tribal Court: Strengthening Tribal Justice Systems Using Restorative Approaches.” Dr. Riley will be working with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota. As part of the grant, she will be researching how the tribal nation approaches remedies to crime. The $99,969 grant covers an 18-month period, beginning in January, and includes funding for one graduate and one undergraduate student researcher.
The “Tribal Justice, Tribal Court: Strengthening Tribal Justice Systems Using Restorative Approaches” project aligns with the Tribal-Researcher Capacity Building Grant by establishing a new partnership between the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribal nation and UH West Oʻahu. The collaborative partnership will develop a new and innovative criminal justice research plan using community-based participatory research principles that will include the tribal partner in all aspects of the research process.
The research planning process will engage the new tribal nation partner in criminal justice research related to restorative justice that will strengthen the tribal justice system by improving court operations and outcomes, and provide evidence-based support for tribal policies related to criminal justice. The research partnership project will help enhance and expand further research including: evaluating the effectiveness of tribal wellness courts; exploring sentencing options; and examining responses to combating the use of alcohol and drugs, including the opioid crisis.