Tribal Courts of New York
Cayuga  •  Oneida  •  Onondaga  •  St. Regis Mohawk  •  Seneca  •  Tonawanda Seneca  •  Tuscarora  •  Shinnecock  •  Unkechaug
N.Y. State Unified Court System  •  United States Courts for the Second Circuit Resident in the State of New York
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Projects - Native Bail Reform Pilot Program

The Native Bail Reform Initiative Pilot Program was fully funded by the United States Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation Grant in 2017. It is a three-year grant and is currently underway. The purpose of the pilot program is to allow a defendant’s release from pretrial incarceration but assure reappearance in court on a criminal matter. The New York Court of Appeals struck down cash-only bail due to its disparate impact on the indigent. Residents of Native American territories in New York are faced with an unequal opportunity to secure pretrial release from incarceration as procuring a commercial bail/bond (using land owned on the reservation as collateral) is not possible. Federal and tribal laws make lands in Indian territory inalienable. Thus, a native accused of a crime is frequently left with only the cash bond option. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Court in conjunction with the Town of Bombay Court will participate in this first ever tribal-state court collaboration on a bail reform initiative.

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