L-R: MCN Juvenile Justice Program Director Amanda Swope, Second Chief Del Beaver, Principal Chief David Hill, National Council Speaker William Lowe, MCN Attorney General Geri Wisner
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Launches Expansion of Juvenile Justice System
31 August 2023
10-year Plan Emphasizes Early Intervention and Increases Disciplinary Authority
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2023
CONTACT: Jason Salsman
OKMULGEE, Okla. – Today, Principal Chief David Hill signed new legislation that creates the legal framework for implementing a ten-year strategic plan for juvenile justice on the MCN reservation.
At a signing ceremony held at the MCN Government complex, Chief Hill said, "This is a historic moment for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. After decades of being hindered by the illegal limitation of our jurisdiction, this new legal framework paves the way for an expansion of services that will make our juvenile justice system the best in the land."
MCN's ten-year strategic plan will implement reforms department-wide, focusing on three key goals:
Expanding Department Resources and Capabilities
· New satellite office in Tulsa to increase access to services
· Law enforcement personnel who specialize in juvenile justice cases
· Expansion of juvenile justice staff
Expanding Innovative Prevention and Intervention Programs
· Diversion to treatment and intervention resources
· Court-ordered treatment plans with a system of escalated penalties
· Case management and monitored community supervision
Enforcement of Robust Accountability Measures
· Growing contracts with Juvenile Detention Centers
· Authority to extend jurisdiction beyond juvenile age
· Policy for Youthful Offender crimes and transfer to adult court
MCN National Council Speaker William Lowe attended the signing ceremony and commented on the need for legislation, "Juvenile justice is a growing issue in every jurisdiction in America. This legislation is an important step that will strengthen public safety on our reservation by updating our codes to give our juvenile justice workers more tools and authorities to address troubled youth."
MCN Attorney General Geri Wisner welcomed the legislation: "Our number one priority is public safety, and this expansion of tools and preventative resources will help us continue to deliver justice for everyone within our reservation boundaries."
MCN Tribal Juvenile Justice Program Director Amanda Swope, who led the strategic plan development, commented, "After the McGirt decision affirmed MCN jurisdiction throughout our reservation, we began to update our codes. In conjunction with the University of Las Vegas Law School, we did an expansive review of our codes and those of the juvenile justice systems around us to build a comprehensive legal code. In some cases, we've aligned with other systems; in others, we've taken a unique approach that reflects the culture of MCN, but the result is a package of reforms that we believe will not only strengthen public safety but put our youth on a path to healthy, productive lives."