The complex arrangement of justice systems serving Indian Country has been described as a “tangled web of justice.” Depending on where the offense occurs, whether or not the tribal youth resides on the reservation, if there is a non-Native victim, and the gravity of the offense, a Native youth may be processed by the tribal, state, or federal juvenile justice system (p. 1). This brief explains how maintaining or building positive relationships with family, peers, and elders can be critical to the rehabilitation of tribal youth and strengthen the youth’s transition back to his or her home community. Well-developed tribal services and resources may provide the best option for tribal youth. Native youth that are able to maintain or create positive connections with family, community, and culture are more likely to develop positive cultural identity, which serves not only as a protective factor for youth at risk for delinquency, but also for behavioral and physical health issue (p.2). Sections of this document cover: tribal, state, and federal jurisdiction; mental health issues and access to resource; protections for native youth; culture-based alternatives to incarceration; and selected tribal culture-based alternatives.
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American Indian and Alaska Native Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Accession Number: 030147
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (Rockville, MD)
Part of the following Packages: