/ Modified may 6, 2024 3:49 p.m.

District of Arizona works to improve handling of MMIP cases

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is fortifying how they handle cases involving missing or murdered Indigenous peoples.

Red Dress mmiw Red dresses representing missing and murdered Indigenous women, displayed at the Verna N. Enos Toka Field on the Tohono O'odham Nation, 2018.
AC Swedbergh/AZPM

United States Attorney Gary Restaino, in Tucson, says the District of Arizona is hiring a regional coordinator to aid in the prevention and response to missing or murdered Indigenous people, as part of a Justice Department program.

“Their role is going to be to engage with our tribal partners to see what types of training is needed, to see what we can do to get more, in a word, alacrity to move faster and quicker on these types of investigations. So we don't know how it's going to develop. We're just excited at the additional resources. And we're excited that Arizona will be front and center in those efforts.”

Arizona is the recipient of numerous federal grants to assist in this effort, including $92 million from the Bureau of Justice Programs to Arizona, tribal entities and some non-governmental organizations.

Restaino says prosecutors need to rethink how they share information with next of kin in these cases in order to promote better outcomes, support greater sensitivity to Tribal customs and culture, and instill greater confidence in the results of investigations.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona