Tribes, feds work to implement law and order act

Tribal officials and others gathered in Albuquerque, N.M., for a national symposium hope a new federal law will help them better understand and address the problem of violent crime in Indian Country.

About 150 judges, law enforcement officials and tribal leaders are talking about implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act, signed by President Obama in July.

The dean of the University of New Mexico law school, Kevin Washburn, says having access to information is how tribes will be able to fight crime.

A key provision of the law requires the U.S. Department of Justice to maintain data on cases from Indian Country that U.S. attorneys decline to prosecute. Some say federal officials have declined to prosecute more than 50 percent of violent crimes on reservations.