Enlarging 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 1017, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202467 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 manuals 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 HUDs Web site at www.hud.gov/ or call 8007677468 (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 communitys 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, 8003429678, www.HaworthPressInc.com.