Evaluation Facilitation for the Tribal Youth Program: A Preliminary Analysis of Juvenile Justice Systems in Native American/Alaska Native Communities

George Cornell, Michigan State University
William S. Davidson II, Michigan State University
David Bercham, Michigan Public Health Institute
Heather Dorey, Michigan Public Health Institute
Shari Murgittroyd, Michigan Public Health Institute
Michael Petoskey, Grand Traverse Tribal Court

This presentation will provide a preliminary look at the current status of juvenile justice systems in five (5) Native American/Alaska Native communities. Discussion will address tribal juvenile justice system structure, operations and interactions with county, state and federal governments. The presentation will also explore historical and evolutionary factors that have impacted juvenile justice systems in tribal communities. The five tribal communities involved in this study receive funding under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Tribal Youth Program (TYP). Tribes volunteered to participate in this study as part of a participatory evaluation of the TYP. Study methods include site visits, key stakeholder interviews, and review of community-level indicators. Initial and follow-up interviews were conducted from January to July 2001. Key stakeholders included tribal judges, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, social services personnel, school personnel, tribal council members, tribal elders, and others. Findings are presented in terms of community level case studies. Where possible, issues and themes that cut across tribal communities are also summarized.

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Updated 05/20/2006