The Department of Justice and Regulatory Administration is responsible for ensuring fair and consistent application of laws and regulations by the divisions within the Department in order to protect the resources, membership, sovereignty, culture, and traditions of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
The Department of Justice and Regulatory is composed of eight divisions, the Ethics Office, and tax and liquor. The Department is responsible for all enforcement (police, wildlife, animal control, and gaming), as well as regulatory issues (environmental, air quality, water quality, gaming regulation, and Tribal employment rights). The Department also has administrative authority over the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office and the Tribal Public Defender’s Office. In addition, the Department of Justice handles the administrative process for driver’s license revocations, pursuant to an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the State of Colorado. Each Division within the Justice and Regulatory Department is working to protect the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, its Tribal membership, or the assets of the Tribe. We continue to look for opportunities to employ Tribal members and to serve them better. What each Division is doing for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe results in protecting its sovereignty and customs and promotes and enforces self-determination.
Mark Cordova – Division Head
The Detention Center is an integral part of the criminal justice system and plays an important role in the human service in this community. It is part of a system of alternatives available to the court and the community to deal with people who violate the Tribal Code. The center provides levels of confinement appropriate to the varying security and programming needs of the inmate population.
Division of Gaming
Jackie Budd – Division Head
The Division of Gaming implements internal controls and procedures under which the casino operates, as well as enforces all rules, regulations, and laws that the Gaming Commission and Tribal Council have promulgated.
Environmental Programs Division
Mark Hutson – Division Head
Environmental Programs Division staff members provide assessments of Tribal air and water resources, including services in the areas of environmental education, recycling, environmental compliance, and Brownfields remediation.
Natural Resource Enforcement Division
Charles Hamby – Captain
The Natural Resource Enforcement Division has been operating under the administration of the Justice and Regulatory. The two programs are the Tribal Rangers and Animal Control Programs.
Southern Ute Police
Raymond N. Coriz Jr. – Chief of Police
The Southern Ute Police Department (SUPD) is located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Southwest Colorado. We patrol 677,622 acres of Southwestern Colorado covering parts of La Plata, Archuleta, and Montezuma counties. We share common borders with the Ute Mountain Ute and Jicarilla Apache reservations. We work with the Ignacio Police Department that has jurisdiction over the Town of Ignacio. The town is located within the boundaries of the reservation.
Quality legal representation for all criminal defendants, regardless of economic status or ability to pay, is essential to a fair and effective justice system. It is the mission of the Southern Ute Public Defender to provide quality, ethical legal representation for criminal defendants to ensure the equitable administration of justice and fair treatment of those committing crimes.
The Public Defender’s office takes part in a number of programs for the benefit of Tribal members. The division’s primary endeavor is to represent individuals charged with criminal offenses in the Southern Ute Tribal Court.
Hilda Burch – Division Head
The responsibility of the Tribal Employee Rights Office (TERO) Division is to implement and enforce the TERO Code. The purpose of the Code is to promote employment of enrolled Native Americans in accordance with Federal Law; to assist employers, contractors, and subcontractors in the fair employment of Indians on or near the Reservation; to provide a contracting preference for Indian-owned business; to prevent discrimination against Indians in the employment practices of employers within the jurisdiction of the Tribe; and to establish a Tribal Employment Rights Commission and Office to further these objectives.
The mission of the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office is to secure justice for victims of crime and to help reduce crime on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Rehabilitation of offenders is the preferred method of reducing crime on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. In most cases, offenders are referred to treatment programs to work on drug or alcohol dependency, anger management, domestic violence, or trauma & loss. Incarceration is recommended for repeat offenders, violent offenders, or those offenders who are not interested in treatment. Jail credit is afforded offenders who successfully complete in-patient treatment programs or attend counseling while in custody.