Project TEAM


Project TEAM is dedicated to helping tribes and local governments create, implement and manage joint jurisdiction collaborations. Our goals are to improve justice outcomes while building positive community relationships.

Request for Proposals

TTA Application

Application Webinar Webcast

Application Webinar Slides



In 2006, Judge John P. Smith of Cass County, Minnesota and Judge Korey Wahwassuck from the Leech Lake Band of Objiwe joined together to combat impaired driving and substance-use related crime in their community by creating a joint-jurisdiction Wellness Court. Their court was the first joint-jurisdiction collaboration of its kind in the country and it was successful on many levels. The collaborative Wellness Court reduced recidivism and improved public safety in the community, it facilitated improved relations between the Tribe and local communities, and it inspired additional joint-jurisdiction collaborations such as a juvenile reentry program, Wellness Court creation in surrounding communities, and tribal flag installations at county court houses and Chambers of Commerce. The Cass County/Leech Lake Wellness Court has won several national and international awards (Harvard University Honoring Nations Award; National Association of Drug Court Professionals Award; the National Criminal Justice Association Award, among others) and both Judge Smith and Judge Wahwassuck are frequently asked to consult on the creation of joint jurisdiction projects. 

The Project TEAM collaboration model is based on the work of Judges Smith and Wahwassuck. Judges Smith and Wahwassuck are joined by Jennifer Fahey, JD, and Allison Leof, PhD, in comprising the Project TEAM personnel. Project TEAM is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide on-site training and technical assistance to federally-recognized Indian tribes and their state or local government partners to develop joint-jurisdiction collaborative initiatives in the courts or criminal justice system. In 2014, Project TEAM worked with the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Tribal Court and the El Dorado County Superior Court in El Dorado County, California to design a joint jurisdiction court to serve tribal youth and their families identified through delinquency, truancy or dependency (child protective services) proceedings. Over three separate, two day meetings, Project TEAM staff worked with tribal representatives and staff from county departments and organizations to adopt a project mission and goals and helped participants draft a court procedures manual. The court is scheduled to begin proceedings in Spring, 2015.


Project TEAM is now accepting applications from representatives of federally recognized Indian tribes and local governments who wish to develop a joint jurisdiction, justice related collaboration. The request for proposals and application are available on this website and applications are due January 30, 2015. An informational webinar on Project TEAM and the application process will be hosted by the National Criminal Justice Association on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.A recording of the webinar can be accessed here and the webinar slides are available here. Two proposals will be selected though this process and Project TEAM will provide TTA services to the selected sites between March 2015 and March 2016.


For more information about Project TEAM, the Shingle Springs and El Dorado County initiative, or other services Project TEAM may provide, please contact Allison Leof at or 503-494-3805.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2012-IC-BX-K003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.