Feds Seek Expertise of Law School Dean, Alums for Upcoming Forum

Kevin WashburnThe UNM School of Law was well represented at a recent working session at Santa Ana Pueblo for an upcoming Listening Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. The session brought together experts on criminal justice in Indian country to help prepare the U.S. attorney general for the Oct. 28-29 conference to be held in Minneapolis.

At the working session, Tom Perrelli, associate U.S. attorney general, met with a dozen tribal experts, including UNM School of Law Dean Kevin Washburn, Diana Cabrera (`98), a Crow Nation prosecutor; Doug Nash (`71), director of the Access to Justice Institute at Seattle University School of Law; and Tracy Toulou (`94), director of the Office of Tribal Justice at the Department of Justice. Kyle Nayback (`96), assistant U.S. Attorney and Greg Fouratt, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, also attended.

Attorney General Eric Holder will convene the Listening Conference to confer with tribal leaders nationwide on how to address the chronic problems of public safety in Indian country. Issues to be addressed will include law enforcement policy and personnel, communications and consultation, grants and technical assistance, detention facilities, federal prosecution in Indian country, tribal court development, domestic violence, drug courts and substance abuse, federal litigation involving tribes and civil rights.

In 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno convened the only other National Listening Conference, sponsored jointly with the Department of the Interior, which led to numerous initiatives, including major funding for tribal police, jails and courts.