Stokes Lawrence American Indian Law Group Created "First-of-its-kind" Traditional Restorative Justice and Therapy Plan

Feb 9, 2023   Print PDF

Related Practice: American Indian Law

Recently, Derek Red Arrow Frank created a “first-of-its-kind” Traditional Restorative Justice and Therapy Plan supported by the Yakama Nation Tribal Court and Yakama Nation Elders. Restorative Justice in Indian Country occurs when a Tribal Nation exercises its sovereign authority to consider and/or develop alternative justice programs using traditional knowledge and wisdom. Here, Derek represented a tribal member in tribal court regarding a domestic dispute. Knowing that the anglo-type punishment of incarceration rarely provides long-term solutions, he partnered with Yakama Leaders and Elders to design an Elder’s Panel that would implement a twelve (12) month Treatment Plan pursuant to Yakama Tribal Customs and Traditions.

When presented to the Court, both the Judge and the Tribal Prosecutor thanked him for his work and stated they would continue to use the Treatment Plan as an alternative to typical incarceration, noting that the long-term health of its membership should be grounded in traditional knowledge and wisdom.