In Brief

Publications LogoEnlarging the Healing Circle: Ensuring Justice for American Indian Children

According to this report recently published by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), American Indian youth are being arrested more often than expected, given their relative number in the population. American Indian youth make up 1 percent of the U.S. population ages 10–17, but constitute 2 to 3 percent of the youth arrested for such offenses as larceny-theft and liquor law violations.

Enlarging the Healing Circle identifies substance abuse, depression, gang involvement, and inadequacies in the legal process as contributors to tribal juvenile delinquency. Drawing on the experiences and findings of more than 300 American Indian advocates and service providers brought together by CJJ, this report makes a series of targeted recommendations intended to reduce American Indian juvenile crime rates. CJJ has sent the report to State Governors, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

To order a copy, e-mail CJJ at info@juvjust.org or call 202–467– 0864. A $3.00 fee is requested to defray shipping and handling costs.

Forging a New Path: A Guide to Starting Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country

This guide, which was published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with help from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, describes how to adapt the Boys & Girls Clubs’ proven prevention model to promote education, healthy lifestyles, cultural enrichment, and leadership development among youth in American Indian communities.

In 1987, HUD launched an initiative with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to establish Boys & Girls Clubs in public housing communities across the Nation. These Clubs benefit youth at risk for substance abuse, health problems, pregnancy, crime, delinquency, and other problems. In 1996, HUD expanded this effort by initiating an aggressive plan to help tribes set up Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian country. Written for tribal council members, Tribally Designated Housing Entity staff members, and leaders in American Indian communities, Forging a New Path projects that 100 such clubs will be operating by the end of the year 2000.

The manual’s first section discusses the provision of youth services in Indian country, the advantages of belonging to Boys & Girls Clubs, support available through HUD for clubs in Indian country, the requirements for starting a club, and methods of promoting interest in a club. The next section explains how to develop a relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, gain charter membership, establish governing structures, plan and maintain a facility, and collaborate with other organizations. It also covers staff resources, club management, membership recruitment and retention, program selection and creation, and safety and security. Additional sections provide instructions for resource development and fund raising, profiles of Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian country, and contact information.

To order a copy, visit HUD’s Web site at www.hud.gov/ or call 800–767–7468 (refer to item number 5591).

Prevention Through Empowerment in a Native American Community

This article, which appeared in the Substance Abuse Prevention in Multicultural Communities issue of Drugs & Society (vol. 12, no. 1998) and was written by Eva Petoskey, Kit Van Stelle, and Judith De Jong, describes the Parent, School, and Community Partnership Program funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. This demonstration grant program combined several complementary strategies to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among American Indians: a school-based cultural curriculum, teacher training, development of a leadership core group, and a community curriculum. The program was specifically designed to address self-perceptions of personal and communal powerlessness among American Indians because these perceptions place them at risk for drug and alcohol abuse.

Analyses of the target population focused on substance use, school bonding, and the relationship between cultural affiliation and substance use by youth. Alcohol use among high school students in the target population was somewhat higher than the national average. Both marijuana use and cigarette use, however, were about four times the national average. American Indian students encountered more difficulties in the school environment than non-American Indian students.

Of the students who received the curriculum, fewer reported alcohol use in the preceding month than students in a comparison group. Qualitative results included increased social bonding at the community level and increased efforts to change the community’s strained relationship with the school system, which was identified as a key concern.

Copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Press, Inc., The Haworth Document Delivery Service, 800–342–9678, www.HaworthPressInc.com.

Call for Materials

The issues and concerns of American Indian youth are topics of increasing interest to professionals and researchers in the juvenile justice system. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) wants to assist you and your colleagues in learning about the experiences of American Indian youth via publications and other information resources. OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) offer an extensive library collection covering all aspects of criminal and juvenile justice and drug policy. Take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to the NCJRS library and abstracts database by sending material related to American Indian youth. Contributions should be a minimum of four pages in length and must have been published within the past 5 years. Materials will be reviewed by a team of highly skilled evaluators to determine eligibility. This process can take several weeks, and not all material submitted is determined suitable for the collection. Materials cannot be returned. Send materials or information to:

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Attn: Patricia Cronin, Collection Development
2277 Research Boulevard, MS 2A
Rockville, MD 20850


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Juvenile Justice - Challenges Facing American Indian Youth:
On the Front Lines With Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell
December 2000,
Volume VII · Number 2