Directed by: Anne Makepeace
Total Runtime: 87 min
Country of Origin: United States
Official Selection, Santa Barbara International Film Festival; Official Selection, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
“Tribal legal systems hold up an example to the nation about the possibilities of alternative dispute resolution.”
(Q&A with filmmaker and Abby Abinanti after screening)
Two judges, two tribes, one goal: restoring justice.
Tribal Justice explores the efforts of tribal courts to create alternative systems of justice. In California, two formidable women lead the way: Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe on the north coast, and Claudette White, Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribe in the southern desert, are creating innovative systems that focus on rehabilitating rather than punishing offenders in order to keep tribal members out of prison, prevent children from being taken from their communities, and stop the school-to-prison pipeline that plagues their young people.
By addressing the root causes of crime, they are providing models of restorative justice that are working, and mainstream courts around the country are taking notice.