This article will trace the history of tribal criminal jurisdiction following the arrival of the colonists, through the foundation of the United States government, and will lead into where it stands today. On this journey, this article will discuss significant statutes and case law dealing with the role tribal courts have played in handling criminal jurisdiction in Indian country and will also discuss some important studies conducted by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics and others on the current state of violent crime in Indian country, as well as the tribes' ability to handle it. Finally, this article will look to the future of tribal criminal jurisdiction by looking at the changing view of the United States federal government.
Jared B. Cawley, Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back on the Rez: Is It Safe, 52 Clev. St. L. Rev. 413 (2004-2005)