Indian Affairs:

Information on Major Crimes on Three Montana Reservations

RCED-89-69: Published: Feb 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on major crimes on three Montana Indian reservations, focusing on: (1) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Attorney's Office law enforcement procedures and practices on the reservations; (2) the number of major crimes reported, referred for prosecution, and prosecuted; and (3) BIA training requirements for its law enforcement personnel.

GAO found that: (1) the U.S. Attorney's Office issued guidelines delineating BIA and FBI investigative and referral responsibilities for major crimes on Montana Indian reservations; (2) BIA and FBI had established policies for reporting crimes at the reservations; (3) all the 337 major crimes that occurred on Indian reservations in 1985 were investigated, 152 were referred for prosecution, 55 were prosecuted, and 47 resulted in convictions; (4) 64 percent of the crimes involved property loss, 21 percent were assaults or kidnapping, 11 percent were sexual offenses, and 4 percent involved murder or manslaughter; (5) 183 of the 337 reported crimes involved Indian suspects, 16 involved non-Indian suspects, and there was no documentation on the remaining cases; and (6) BIA required its newly hired or promoted law enforcement personnel to complete 40 hours of in-service training annually.

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