Klamath Tribal Court

The Klamath Tribes have a unique coordinated prevention and intervention initiative for youth that are already involved in the justice system. On December 14, 2009 the Klamath Tribes Judiciary, in collaboration with the Klamath Tribes Social Services Department, the Klamath County Juvenile Department, and the Klamath Circuit Court (State Court) entered into a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Circuit Court for Klamath County, 13th Judicial District for the State of Oregon, Klamath county Juvenile Department, the Klamath Tribes of Oregon, Klamath Tribes Judiciary, and the Tribes Social Services Department.” This MOU provides a novel collaborative approach between the State and Tribal Justice Systems. Under it, the Tribal Court may accept responsibility for oversight of the youth’s probation, developing culturally appropriate and other relevant terms and conditions of probation. With close judiciary and Probation Officer oversight and guidance, if the youth are successful in the Tribal court program the same is reported to the State Court and county Juvenile Probation Department, which may then “dismiss” the underlying proceeding.

Through this program, the Tribes’ Juvenile court is able to provide the juvenile and their family with culturally based services and greater frequency of contact between the Tribal Court, service providers and the youth and family involved. Currently the Tribes do not have coordinated intervention initiative for adults at-risk or involvement or already involved in the justice system. The tribes have limited resources to support prevention, mentoring and other services. The Tribes have State/Tribal Agreement for child protective services and partner with each other.