Imagine a courtroom where the judge is someone who grew up with your parents and who sits down at the table to talk with you like a longtime friend. That’s the approach Judge Abby Abinanti takes when she rules on cases for the Yurok Tribe in Northern California. Abinanti and Claudette White, who is the chief judge for the Quechan Tribe in Southern California, are the focus of a new documentary, “Tribal Justice.” The film examines the two judges’ use of restorative justice in their courtrooms. We talk to Judge Abinanti and filmmaker Anne Makepeace.
Anne Makepeace, filmmaker, “Tribal Justice”
Abby Abinanti, chief judge, the Yurok Tribal Court; retired commissioner, San Francisco Superior Court