Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Jessica Word

Second Committee Member

William H. Sousa

Third Committee Member

E. Lee Bernick

Fourth Committee Member

Maxim Gakh

Number of Pages



Recent changes in VAWA allows tribes – for the first time – to prosecute non-Indians for intimate partner violence. In order to do so, however, tribes have to first meet specific federal mandates. Implementation of federal regulatory policy by American Indian tribes is a dynamic and complex process but there is a dearth of information on the challenges tribes face or on factors that would facilitate successful implementation at the tribal level. This legislation has filled a serious gap in tribal jurisprudence but not all tribes are able to meet requirements, which include having specific legal codes and justice resources. What may seem straightforward at the federal level may not be feasible at the tribal level. There is little written about the implementation process at the tribal level. Often, only the end result (success/failure) is known. Using Sabatier and Mazmanian’s framework for the implementation of public policy, this study sought to describe the implementation process for tribal nations and identify factors that facilitate and hinder the process. Key informant interviews and a scoping review identified and assessed Sabatier and Mazmanian’s key components of successful implementation: tractability—the extent to which are tribes able to meet implementation requirements and effectively solve the problem; structure – the structural issues tribes face in meeting implementation requirements; and non-statutory variables – local factors, such as tribal government structure, that affect implementation. The knowledge gained from this study contributes to our understanding of the tribal implementation process and what is needed to ensure success.


American Indian; Federal Indian Law; SDVCJ; Tribal Policy Implementation


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Law | Public Policy

File Format


File Size

3600 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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