“Understanding what helps justice-involved American Indian (AI) youth to make positive changes in their lives and end or reduce their involvement in the tribal juvenile justice system is important for developing effective supports. This report presents perspectives on personal change among justice-involved AI youth who participated in the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration (“Green Reentry”) programs in three tribes.” Sections of this publication address: risk and protective factors affecting justice-involved AI youth; proposed culture-based protective factors—cultural identity, spirituality, and family and social connections; the Tribal Green Reentry programs—the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST), the Hualapai Indian Tribe, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI); perspectives on youth change in the Green Reentry program—character (sense of responsibility, personal pride and self-worth, focus on long-term life goals) emotional health and well-being (emotional openness and trust, anger management, experience of more positive emotions, decreased substance use, better understanding of traditional teachings and practices, stronger cultural identity, and improved connections with elders), school engagement (better school attendance, reduced tardiness, improved progress toward a diploma or GED, felt safer and able to focus, and appreciation for practical skills), community engagement (enthusiasm for giving back to their communities, sense of belonging, feeling of accomplishment, and feeling more noticed and respected by elders), and interpersonal relationships (able to express themselves openly, show respect, receive more approval from their families, and create and maintain healthy boundaries); and the conclusion that the Green Reentry supports positive change among American Indian youth.
“Scholars are beginning to analyze the relative contributions of changes in crime rates, criminal justice policies, economics, and demographics to the slowing growth rate of the prison system, but one area that has gone largely unexplored is the impact of such changes on racial disparities in imprisonment. As is well known, black/white disparities in the use of incarceration have been profound for quite some time. Since the 1980s a series of analyses have documented these trends at the national level as well as examining variation in disparity among the states. As prison populations fluctuate, though, the relative rate of incarceration among racial groups may or may not reflect prevailing patterns. Further, as the prospect of a declining prison population has now become a distinct possibility for the next decade, it will become increasingly important to monitor whether reduced incarceration is experienced in similar ways across racial/ethnic groups” (p. 1). This report is an initial look at whether this trend of decreasing prison populations is reflected in the numbers of minority women being incarcerated. Sections of this report cover: slowing growth in incarceration; race and gender disparity in incarceration; changing racial composition of women’s incarceration—analyzing changes, changes in offending, prison population by offense, and changing socioeconomics; conclusion; and recommendations to address racial disparities.
Little is known about what factors contribute to African American youth desisting from offending … Researchers investigated whether youth possessed protective factors and whether developmental change took place after contact with the juvenile justice system. It was hypothesized that having protective factors would decrease the likelihood of recidivism and the impact of each factor would differ by gender. Findings indicate African American youth have protective factors across a range of domains. However, little developmental change occurs after contact with the juvenile justice system. Impulse control, parental supervision, and pro-social peers were important for reducing recidivism. Problem solving was more influential for African American males, while impulse control and parental supervision were more influential for African American females (p. 610).
This Practice Manual [the RED Practice Manual] is an effort to provide practical, concrete strategies for jurisdictions to use to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems. The Practice Manual covers the key decision points in the juvenile justice system, from arrest to re-entry into the community after state commitment. For each decision point, the Practice Manual provides an overview of the key issues, discusses the data that should be collected and analyzed in order to understand the issues more clearly, and recommends strategies, interventions, programs, and practices that have proven effective in addressing the issues (p. 6).
This is an excellent report that addresses the critical issues surrounding the building of prisons in and the transfer of inmates to areas that are demographically different than the surrounding community. It provides food for thought regarding the ability of families to visit their loved one in prison, the hiring of minority correctional staff, and the degree to which prison gerrymandering occurs in the United States. "This report fills a critical gap in understanding the mass incarceration phenomenon: it offers a way to quantify the degree to which in each state mass incarceration is about sending Blacks and Latinos to communities with very different racial/ethnic make-ups than their own. We use data from the 2010 Census to compare the race and ethnicity of incarcerated people to that of the people in the surrounding county, finding that, for many counties, the racial and ethnic make-up of these populations is very different. This analysis addresses the degree to which each state’s use of the prison is about transferring people of color to communities that are very different from the communities that people in prison come from. This data does not address the bias in policing or sentencing found in individual counties; instead it reflects each state’s political decision to build prisons in particular locations." Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; the racial geography of mass incarceration for Blacks; the racial geography of mass incarceration for Latinos; conclusion; Appendix A-- Counties: Total, incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations by race/ethnicity and ratios of overrepresentation; Appendix B--Percentiles of County Ratios by State for Blacks; Appendix C-- Percentiles of County Ratios by State for Latinos; and Appendix D--Portion of each state's incarcerated population that is incarcerated in disproportionately White counties.
"The development of culturally responsive clinical skills is vital to the effectiveness of behavioral health services. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), cultural competence “refers to the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, languages, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services, as well as staff members who are providing such services … This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) uses Sue’s (2001) multidimensional model for developing cultural competence. Adapted to address cultural competence across behavioral health settings, this model serves as a frame-work for targeting three organizational levels of treatment: individual counselor and staff, clinical and programmatic, and organizational and administrative. The chapters target specific racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations along with the core elements of cultural competence highlighted in the model. These core elements include cultural awareness, general cultural knowledge, cultural knowledge of behavioral health, and cultural skill development. The primary objective of this TIP is to assist readers in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of behavioral health services (both generally and with reference to specific cultural groups)" (p. xv). These six chapters follow an executive summary: introduction to cultural competence; core competencies for counselors and other clinical staff; culturally responsible evaluation and treatment planning; preparing organizational cultural competence; behavioral health treatment for major racial and ethnic groups—African and Black Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, and White Americans ; drug cultures and culture of recovery. Appendixes included: Instruments to Measure Identity and Acculturation; Tools for Accessing Cultural Competence; Screening and Assessment Instruments; Cultural Formulation in Diagnosis and Cultural Concepts of Distress; Cultural Resources; and glossary.
This report describes "Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) activities to collect and improve data on crime and justice in Indian country, as required by the Tribal Law and Order Act, 2010. The report summarizes BJS’s efforts in 2015 to field a survey on the capabilities and caseloads of tribal court systems; develop a survey of all state and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices serving Indian country; study the handling of American Indian and Alaska Native juvenile and adult criminal cases in the federal justice system; and enhance current funding programs to support tribal participation in regional and national criminal justice databases. It summarizes tribal eligibility for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant awards from 2008 to 2015, and presents Uniform Crime Reporting Program statistics on offenses reported by tribal law enforcement agencies from 2008 to 2013. Highlights: … at midyear 2013, a total of 2,287 inmates were confined in 79 Indian country jails—a 3.3% decrease from the 2,364 inmates confined at midyear 2012; and at midyear 2014, local jails held about 10,400 American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) inmates (both tribal and nontribal AIAN), which was 1.4% of the total (744,600) jail inmate population. Nearly half (47%) of all AIAN jail inmates were in western states."
“Tribal laws reflect our values as a people, define our collective barriers, prioritize our issues, allocate public resources, and identify eligibility for conferred status and public benefits and services. This Toolkit identifies areas in which existing tribal laws may discriminate against Two Spirit /LGBT individuals. The Toolkit also gives tribal legislators a brief overview of legal and policy issues that impact the equal treatment of Two Spirit/LGBT community members, and offers sample resolution and code language for tribal lawmakers to consider adopting to maximize equality within their communities. The purpose of this Toolkit is to protect the most vulnerable among us by facilitating the development of tribal laws that ensure that Two Spirit/LGBT people have the same access and opportunities as other community members. By making simple adjustments to laws and policies— such as creating an inclusive definition of family, or extending criminal laws to address hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity—tribal governments can exercise their sovereignty to better protect all of their tribal citizens” (p. 9). This toolkit is comprised of ten chapters: introduction about the toolkit; family—marriage, domestic partnerships and civil unions, and children (adoption, child custody and visitation for Two Spirit/LGBT parents, and child welfare); employment; housing, real property transactions, public accommodations, and public services; education; health care and end of life; bias-motivated (hate) crimes—criminal offenses with bias motive, prohibiting specific actions, enhanced penalties, and bias-motivated crime reporting and training; jury service; law enforcement and corrections—police conduct, prison/jail conditions, and a sample “Equality Protocol for Law Enforcement and Corrections”; and identity documents and name changes.
This website is an excellent resource for information about Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. "[A] Tribal Healing to Wellness Court brings together alcohol and drug treatment, community healing resources, and the tribal justice process by using a team approach to achieve the physical and spiritual healing of the individual participant, and to promote Native nation building and the well-being of the community." Points of entry include: about the Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI); Wellness Court resources—Tribal 10 Key Components of a Healing to Wellness Court, Healing to Wellness Court Publication Series (including "Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components", and the "Overview of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts"), webinar series, "Annual Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Enhancement Training", operations (team member roles, screening and assessment, policies and procedures, legal issues, sanctions and incentives), research (tribal drug court research, alcohol and drug abuse, and other drug court technical assistance resources), funding and sustainability, data and evaluations, target populations (such as juvenile, family, DWI, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Veterans Healing to Wellness Courts), planning a Healing to Wellness Court, healing (treatment, and incorporating culture and tradition), and restorative justice; drug court partners; and federal funding agencies.
"Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, also known as drug courts, have proliferated within Indian country during the last two decades. The drug court model, beginning within state courts, was later adapted for tribes to better allow for the diversity of cultures, languages, needs, governance structures, and laws. Essentially, a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court, like a state drug court, integrates substance abuse treatment with the criminal justice system to provide substance-abusing offenders judicially supervised treatment and transitional services through the use of intense supervision, sanctions and incentives, and drug testing in a non-punitive setting. Healing to Wellness Court is the coming together of agencies and systems that do not traditionally interact. Agencies have different goals, priorities, and structures. It is therefore essential for the Wellness Court to have its own strong foundation. By documenting the structure and procedures of the Wellness Court, the policies and procedures manual aids in securing the long-term future of the Court … A policies and procedures manual is a necessary tool to successfully implement and operate a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. From the court’s outset, a policies and procedures manual, adopted through the formal tribal governmental process, can officially establish the Healing to Wellness Court (Wellness Court) and describe the type of court. Upfront designations assist in determining whether a participant is appropriate for the Wellness Court. A policies and procedures manual describes the target population, such as adult, juvenile, or parents involved in dependency court, also known as family Healing to Wellness Court. The manual also documents the agencies, team member roles, and services that will be provided to the target population by team members" (p. 1, 3). This manual is comprised of thirteen chapters: the big picture and target population; entry into Wellness Court and Team and participant rules; Team roles and responsibilities; treatment and phase systems; the judge and Wellness Court staffing and hearings; probation, case manager, or other supervision; alcohol and drug testing; data tracking and evaluation; wellness team; appendices to Tribal Policies and Procedures Manual; Participant Handbooks; statutory provisions; and agreements.