A Message From OJJDP
The violent crime rate among American Indians is twice that of the United States as a whole. Tribal communities are also beset by high rates of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, alcohol abuse, and gang involvement. Given such factors, it
is not surprising that tribal youth are exposed to multiple risk factors for delinquency. Indeed, while the violent crime rate for U.S. youth has steadily declined over the past several years, the rate of violent juvenile crime in tribal communities continues to grow.
Risk factors for delinquency for the nearly 2 million American Indians who live on or near tribal lands are compounded by a lack of social services. Tribal communities are challenged by inadequate resources for their juvenile justice systems, resulting in insufficient training of law enforcement and other justice personnel and a dearth of programs that comprehensively combat juvenile delinquency through appropriate prevention, intervention, and sanction activities.
This Bulletin describes the efforts of OJJDP to assist tribal communities through such initiatives as the Tribal Youth Program, the Tribal Youth Program Mental Health Project, the Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) Project, training and technical assistance, and research and evaluation.
It is hoped that OJJDPs tribal youth initiatives will help build a better future for American Indian and Alaska Native youth and their families.