Navajo Justice

In January 2000, the Navajo Nation Council decided to revamp the Navajo Nation Criminal Code by, among other things, requiring the use of peacemaking in criminal cases. The Council formally incorporated into its criminal code the traditional concept of “nalyeeh” — the process of confronting someone who hurts others with an intention to talk out the action and its consequences. Through this bold experiment, the Navajo Nation sought to find alternate ways to deal with crimes, and found that the answers may lie in dealing with actions, not actors, allowing people to face and solve their own problems, using peacemaking for crime prevention, and rewriting old scripts.

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