Project TEAM

 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.


In 2006, Judge John 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. The court was successful on many levels. Not only did it lead to reduced recidivism and improved public safety, the court helped many individuals turn their lives around and led to improved relations between the Tribe and local communities. Furthermore, creation of the Wellness Court led to other collaborations between the tribe and local government, 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. Judge Smith and Judge Wahwassuck are joined by Jennifer Fahey, JD, and Allison Leof, PhD, in comprising the Project TEAM personnel.  


With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Project TEAM staff is developing a manual to guide tribal and local governments in creating joint-jurisdiction courts of their own. Project TEAM completed a competitive selection process in January 2014 to select the first pilot site and a joint initiative between the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and El Dorado County, California was selected. Shingle Springs and El Dorado County plan to create a joint-jurisdiction court to provide wrap-around services to juveniles identified by the criminal justice system. Project TEAM will assist Shingle Springs and El Dorado County in the design and implementation of their court through remote support and three on-site visits in May, July and September 2014.


 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 leof@ohsu.edu 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.