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Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA)

The Passage of The Tribal Law & Order Act of 2010 (TLOA), signed into law on July 29, 2010, extended the sentencing authority of federally recognized tribes to allow felony sentencing for certain crimes. This authority, referred to as enhanced sentencing authority (ESA), increases tribes’ abilities to sentence offenders from a maximum of 1 year confinement and/or $5,000 fine to 3 years confinement and/or $15,000 fine (sentences stackable to 9 years confinement and/or $45,000 fine). This new sentencing authority has been welcomed by many tribes as an opportunity to hold tribal members more accountable. However, it also comes with challenges about how to implement this new authority effectively and lawfully.