DOJ, DOI Agree with Daines and Expand Tribal Access to National Crime Databases

U.S. SENATE — After U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced bipartisan legislation to expand tribes’ access to national crime databases, the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior announced today that they are expanding the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP) to an additional 25 tribes. TAP provides Native American tribes direct access to national crime information databases.

“This is good news for Indian country. It’s critical for Indian tribes to have direct access to national crime data in order to help protect public safety,” Daines said. “I’m pleased to lead legislation that supports this goal and will help make tribal communities safer places to live and prosper.”

In Montana, the Blackfeet Tribe is among those selected for this expansion. In addition, the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) Agencies will also soon have access to TAP. The Northern Cheyenne BIA Agency will be among the next three additional locations across the country where TAP will be used to vet prospective foster parents.

Daines has been a leading advocate in the U.S. Senate for expanding tribes’ access to national crime databases. 

Daines’ leadership on crime prevention in Indian country:

On October 16, 2018, Daines’ Mitigating METH Act was sent to President Trump’s desk as part of the comprehensive opioids legislation. The bill expands the state targeted response to the opioid crisis grants to include Indian tribes as eligible recipients.

On September 20, 2018, Daines sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs requesting a hearing on the epidemic of missing persons in Indian country.

On April 26, 2018, the Senate passed Daines’ bill to designate May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

On April 19, 2018, Daines led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a Department of Justice Inspector General report, urging the department of Justice to uphold its responsibilities to Indian tribes and implement the recommendations outlined in that report as quickly as possible. 

On April 13, 2018, Daines’ bill to help relocate children who go missing through AMBER Alert systems became law.  

On February 14, 2018, Daines sponsored and supported the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ passage of the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act, which included Daines’ bipartisan legislation to promote tribes’ access to national criminal databases. 

On December 21, 2017, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation, the Mitigating the Methamphetamine Epidemic and Promoting Tribal Health Act, or the Mitigating METH Act, to combat methamphetamine use across Montana and strengthen Indian tribes’ ability to fight this epidemic.

On December 6, 2017, Daines’ bipartisan legislation, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This bill strengthens services for victims of crime in Indian country.  

On May 5, 2017, Daines joined with the family of Hanna Harris to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls as designated by his Senate resolution.

On May 4, 2017, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. 

In the Spring of 2017, Daines spoke at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center briefing regarding the epidemic of missing/murdered. The organization is based out of Billings, Montana.

In April 2016, Daines led an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill to set aside five percent of the Crime Victims Fund for Indian tribes.