Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives

July 21, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Justice recently rolled out an information hub for an initiative that launched earlier this year: The Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, also known as Operation Lady Justice. The program focuses on enhancing the criminal justice system and addressing the concerns of American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding missing and murdered people — particularly missing and murdered women and girls.

The two-year task force was established when President Trump signed Executive Order 13898 on November 26, 2019. The task force will meet with tribal leaders and communities, aiming to improve the response by law enforcement, communities, and systems, reviewing research and data collection, and developing an outreach campaign.

Since getting started in January 2020, the task force has developed working groups focusing on:

• Model Protocols and Procedures for missing persons or murder cases in AIAN communities

• Multidisciplinary Cold Case Teams to review cold cases of both missing persons and
murder cases

• Education and Outreach Campaign for affected AIAN communities

• Training for law enforcement, victim services, communities and families

• Comprehensive guides to available resources

• Relationships with existing tribal and state task forces

• Best practices guide for missing persons and murder cases including family communication

Other projects include:

• Drafting fact sheets and FAQs around the issues of missing persons cases and murder cases

• Restarting the “Volunteers in Police Service” program to help utilize community volunteers
in missing persons cases

• Establishing a “Justice Connect” section within the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal
(LEEP) in the FBI CJIS databases

• Compiling ideas for legislation to solve some of the identified gaps or legal issues

• Meeting with law enforcement, victim services programs, domestic violence coalitions and others to hear about field experiences in American Indian and Alaska Native communities

You can find the Operation Lady Justice website here.

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