Tribal courts across the country are expanding holistic alternatives to the criminal justice system

Inside a jail cell at Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, Albertyn Pino’s only plan was to finish the six-month sentence for public intoxication, along with other charges, and to return to her abusive boyfriend.

That’s when she was offered a lifeline: An invitation to the tribe’s Healing to Wellness Court. She would be released early if she agreed to attend alcohol treatment and counseling sessions, secure a bed at a shelter, get a job, undergo drug testing and regularly check in with a judge.

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