Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Indian Civil Rights Act
Jon'a F. Meyer
The Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA), enacted by Congress in 1968, is federal legislation that transfers key provisions of the Bill of Rights to criminal justice processes that occur in Indian Country. This legislation is important in the study of race and crime because it ensures due process to defendants in tribal justice systems. This entry describes the ICRA, its impact in Indian Country, and strengths and weaknesses of the legislation. For more than a century, the protections in the Bill of Rights were viewed as governing only federal prosecutions. Just as its provisions had to be extended to the states through the process of selective incorporation, the rights included in the Bill of Rights were not automatic for individuals on tribal lands. The logic was that tribal governments were not governed by the U.S. Constitution because they had entered into treaty relations with the United States prior to the ...