| OJJDP Tribal Youth
by Chyrl Andrews
lthough the violent crime arrest rate for American Indian juveniles fell 20 percent between its peak year of 1995 and 1998, the 1998 rate was still about 20 percent above the average rate of the 1980s (Snyder, in press). Of particular concern to American Indian tribes1 and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the increasing number of violent crimes being committed by juveniles in many tribal communities. The number of American Indian youth in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)2 custody has increased 50 percent since 1994, and more than 70 percent of the approximately 270 youth in BOP custody on any day are American Indians.
To address the rising rate of juvenile crime in tribal communities, Congress established the Tribal Youth Program (TYP) in 1999,3 appropriating $10 million in fiscal year (FY) 1999 and $12.5 million in FY 2000 for the program. DOJs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)4 administers the program. OJJDP had assisted American Indian tribes before 1999 (through the pass-through of Formula Grant Program funds by the States, discretionary grant funds, and training and technical assistance), but it did not have a program solely dedicated to the prevention and control of juvenile crime and improvement of the juvenile justice system in American Indian communities. TYP, the first such program, includes a range of projects, activities, and funding categories. This article provides background information on TYP, an overview of TYP funding, and descriptions of programs and activities conducted with TYP funds.
The Tribal Youth Program is part of the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative, a 4-year Federal initiative established by DOJ and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1999. The initiative addresses a range of issues affecting law enforcement and juvenile justice services on Indian reservations. Many of the 1.4 million American Indians living on or near Indian lands lack access to even the most basic law enforcement services. Juvenile justice systems in tribal communities are chronically underfunded and lack comprehensive programs that focus on preventing juvenile delinquency, providing intervention services, and imposing appropriate sanctions. Law enforcement and justice personnel in American Indian communities receive insufficient and inadequate training. To address such problems, the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative funds programs that increase the availability of law enforcement services, improve the administration of criminal and juvenile justice, and enhance the quality of life in Indian country.
Under the initiative, Congress appropriated $89 million in FY 1999 and nearly $91.5 million in FY 2000 in anticrime and delinquency prevention grants to be provided directly to Indian tribes through three bureaus and offices in DOJs Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and through DOJs Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Of the initiatives FY 2000 funds, $12.5 million was appropriated for OJJDPs Tribal Youth Program.5 Applicants for TYP funding receive information about the initiative through solicitations issued by participating bureaus and offices, and additional information is available from the DOJ Response Center at 8004216770.6TYP Funding
Of the $12.5 million appropriated in FY 2000, the Tribal Youth Program used $1.25 million to support program-related research, evaluation, and statistical activities; $250,000 to provide training and technical assistance to tribal programs; and $7.5 million to award discretionary grants. Remaining funds were used for other tribal efforts (such as the TYP Mental Health Project) and program support.
Grant amounts under the Tribal Youth Program for FY 2000 varied based on the size of the total American Indian service population living on or near a particular reservation (see table 1). OJJDP encourages intertribal coalitions, and funding covers a 3-year period. Federally recognized Indian tribes include Alaskan Native tribal governments.TYP Programs/Activities
Programs and activities conducted with TYP funds include:
The goals, activities, and funding ranges of each are described in the sections that follow.
TYP Discretionary Program
The overall purpose of TYP is to support and enhance tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian youth. Through the TYP Discretionary Program, applicants are afforded flexibility to meet the needs of the American Indian community. (highlights of activities planned by the first TYP grantees.)
Objectives and activities. The TYP Discretionary Programs four objectives are to:Reduce, control, and prevent crime and delinquency committed by and against tribal youth. Activities relevant to this objective include assessment of community needs, identification of risk factors, efforts to reduce truancy and lower dropout rates, parenting education, antigang education, conflict resolution services, child abuse prevention programs, services and treatment for sex offenders, and strategies to reduce gang involvement and lower the rate of gun violence among American Indian youth.
Provide interventions for court-involved tribal youth. Implementation or improvement of the following sanctions, interventions, and services help grantees meet this objective: graduated sanctions, restitution, diversion, home detention, foster and/or shelter care, community service, aftercare services, mental health services interventions (e.g., crisis intervention, screenings, counseling for suicidal behavior), and mentoring programs.
Improve tribal juvenile justice systems. Activities, reforms, and programs relevant to this objective include indigenous justice strategies (i.e., tribes particular codes for and methods of practicing justice); training for juvenile court personnel, including judges and prosecutors; intake assessments; development or enhancement of tribal juvenile codes; advocacy programs; gender-specific programming; probation services; and aftercare programs.
Provide prevention programs that focus on alcohol and other drugs. Activities relevant to this objective include intensive case management, drug and alcohol education, drug testing, substance abuse counseling for juveniles and families, services for youth with co-occurring substance abuse disorders, and training for treatment professionals.
Funding. In FY 1999, 34 tribal communities in 14 States received OJJDP grants totaling almost $8 million under the TYP Discretionary Program to prevent and control youth violence and substance abuse in tribal communities (list of grantees). Awarded through a competitive review process, grants ranged from $64,875 to $500,000, depending on the size of the American Indian service population, as reported in Indian Labor Force Report: Portrait 1997 (Stearns, 1999).
TYP Mental Health Project
Background: Federal Mental Health and Community Safety Initiative. TYPs Mental Health Project is part of the Mental Health and Community Safety Initiative for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Children, Youth, and Families, a Federal initiative announced June 7, 1999, at the White House Conference on Mental Health and developed by DOJ,7 DOI,8 and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED)9 and Health and Human Services (HHS).10 The White House Domestic Policy Council initiated coordination of this effort, which helps tribes develop innovative strategies focusing on the mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, and safety needs of Native youth, their families, and their communities through a coordinated Federal process.
The Federal Mental Health and Community Safety Initiative has several goals. It is dedicated to improving mental health, education, and substance abuse services for tribal youth and to supporting juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention by creating and implementing culturally sensitive programs. The initiative helps tribes address the mental health and related needs of tribal youth and their families in various community settings (e.g., at home, in school, within the juvenile justice system). Grantees, for example, may use funding to design and implement healthcare treatment programs and education programs that focus on preventing violence. As shown in table 2, many Federal agencies provided grant funding for the initiative.11 Over a 3-year period, participating Federal agencies will work together to achieve the initiatives goals by allocating available grant funds and other resources to eligible Indian tribes and tribal organizations.
In 1999, as part of the Federal initiative, OJJDP designated $1 million to establish the TYP Mental Health Project, the overall goal of which is to provide mental health diagnosis and treatment services for American Indian youth in tribal and/or State juvenile justice systems. Its objectives, activities, and funding are described in the sections that follow.
Objectives and activities. Although the four objectives of the TYP Mental Health Project are the same as those of the TYP Discretionary Program, activities under each have a specific mental health and juvenile justice focus. The TYP Mental Health Projects four objectives are to:
Reduce, control, and prevent crime and delinquency committed by and against American Indian youth. Activities relevant to this objective include the development and/or enhancement of diagnostic, treatment, and prevention instruments; psychological and psychiatric evaluation; counseling for conduct disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder; delinquency prevention programs; development of conflict resolution skills; treatment and services for sex offenders; and family support services.
Provide interventions for court-involved tribal youth. Activities that relate to this objective include imposing appropriate sanctions; providing mental health interventions (e.g., crisis intervention; mental health screenings; counseling for suicidal behavior, depression, and anxiety; and discharge planning); placing youth in day treatment programs, therapeutic group homes/foster care, or acute inpatient or residential psychiatric care facilities; and improving aftercare programming and services.
Improve tribal juvenile justice systems. The following activities relate to this objective: indigenous justice strategies, training for juvenile justice professionals, enhanced intake assessments (including mental health screenings), gender-specific mental health programming, and aftercare programs.
Provide prevention programs that focus on alcohol and other drugs. Activities relevant to this objective include intensive case management, services for co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, coordination of existing mental health and substance abuse programs for juvenile offenders, training for mental health and substance abuse professionals, drug testing, and counseling for tribal youth and their families.
The activities and services described above may be implemented or provided to youth at any stage of the juvenile justice system process, including arrest, intake, adjudication, detention, confinement in a secure correctional facility, probation, and community-based treatment.
Funding. The $1 million available in FY 2000 for the TYP Mental Health Project will be awarded through a competitive process. (See table 3 for available funding ranges.) OJJDP encourages intertribal coalitions. Funding is for a 3-year period.
Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement Project
Objectives and activities. The Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) project is a Federal initiative designed to empower tribal communities to fight crime, violence, and substance abuse more effectively and help them address local problems comprehensively through effective planning and appropriate funding. Like other DOJ-funded comprehensive community initiatives, such as Weed and Seed and Tribal Strategies Against Violence, the CIRCLE project provides an opportunity for DOJ to work with Federal agencies and private partners to develop resources needed to create safe and healthy tribal communities.
The CIRCLE project is based on two key principles. First, because the Federal Government cannot impose solutions from the top down that effectively and completely address the problems of tribal communities, such communities should take the lead, with assistance from the Federal Government, in developing and implementing efforts to control crime, violence, and drug abuse. Second, problems addressed by the CIRCLE project require a comprehensive approachthat is, one that incorporates coordinated, multidisciplinary efforts. The CIRCLE project complements and is supported by the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative (see discussion) and serves three tribes: Northern Cheyenne Tribe (Lame Deer, MT); Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge, SD), and Pueblo of Zuni (Zuni, NM).
Funding. Through the CIRCLE project, participating tribes receive special consideration for technical assistance and training related to strategy development and implementation. They are also eligible to apply for funding for law enforcement, tribal courts, detention facilities, and youth programs. Several DOJ agencies work together to make technical assistance and funding available to this comprehensive program. Partner agencies include the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Tribal Justice, OJP, and COPS. The U.S. Attorney plays a role in the CIRCLE project, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOIs Bureau of Indian Affairs also contribute through the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative.
TYP Research and Evaluation
Guiding principles. Three basic principles for conducting research in Indian country have emerged from OJJDPs numerous meetings and focus groups with Indian practitioners and researchers.12 Each is described below.
Practicality and local relevance. Research should provide practical results that are useful to the parties who are the focus of the research. Too often, researchers give little back to the people and communities they study.
Community involvement. Research projects should include local community members in decisionmaking and project implementation. Projects that relate to American Indians should include the guidance of local communities and provide opportunities for community members to develop their research skills.
Cultural sensitivity. Researchers must understand and be sensitive to local customs, traditions, values, and history. Researchers should officially recognize the principle of tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship embodied in Federal grants to conduct research in Indian country.
Research projects. The following are examples of TYP research projects and evaluations.
Evaluation facilitation for the Tribal Youth Program. The Michigan Public Health Institute was selected as the TYP evaluation facilitator in July 2000 to guide five TYP sites through a participatory evaluation of their programs. Participatory evaluations include a high level of involvement and direction by program stakeholders (e.g., program personnel, related agency personnel, community residents, program participants). Participating sites will assemble a Program Assessment Team (PAT) with local stakeholders, and the evaluation facilitator will provide training and technical assistance to PATs on how to conduct a program evaluation that covers both implementation and outcomes. PATs, in turn, will develop evaluation questions, data collection procedures, analysis plans, and evaluation reports and will collect and analyze data with support from the evaluation facilitator.
CIRCLE project evaluation. During FYs 1999 and 2000, OJJDP transferred a total of $100,000 to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for an evaluation of the CIRCLE project. The evaluation uses a participatory design and provides site personnel and stakeholders many opportunities for involvement. NIJ released a solicitation for the evaluation in April 2000. The evaluation award was made in September 2000 to the Harvard Project on American Indian Development at Harvard Universitys John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Field-initiated research. Field-initiated research allows researchers in the fieldrather than Federal decisionmakers in Washington, DCto determine which areas and topics are most important to examine. Within this framework, OJJDP sometimes specifies general areas of focus. In FY 1999, for example, OJJDP released a broad solicitation for research on American Indian juvenile justice and delinquency prevention issues. OJJDP made three awardstwo to State universities and one to a tribal college. Research under these grants includes analyses of reservation-based juvenile justice systems, development and demonstration of culturally appropriate juvenile justice approaches, and a study of American Indian youth gangs.13 FY 2000 funds will support field-initiated research in three focal areas: child abuse/neglect, substance abuse, and indigenous juvenile justice approaches.
Longitudinal Study of Tribal Youth Risk and Resiliency. The purpose of this project, currently under development, is to conduct a longitudinal study of youth development and delinquency that examines risk and protective factors within the unique cultural and historical context of American Indian youth. Through special attention to cultural and historical factors, this study will greatly enhance the current understanding of individual, family, community, peer, and school factors that influence American Indian delinquency and resiliency. The first 2 years of the project will be dedicated to a feasibility study that will include selection of sites and coordination with tribes to develop and test culturally appropriate research methods and measures. Although OJJDP will serve as the lead agency throughout this project, sponsorships will be sought from additional agencies to help support implementation of the project beyond the first 2 years. OJJDP anticipates that the study will continue for 5 years beyond the feasibility study.
TYP Training and Technical Assistance Program
In response to the rise in juvenile crime, violence, and victimization in tribal communities, OJJDP funded four Indian tribes between FYs 1992 and 1995 to develop culturally relevant community-based programs to address the needs of young American Indian offenders and their families. During that time, OJJDP also funded a technical assistance program to support Indian tribes as they design, develop, and implement such programs. The success of this early initiative led OJJDP to expand its training and technical assistance. In FY 1996, OJJDP funded a 3-year training and technical assistance program to improve tribal governments responses to youth crime, violence, and victimization.
In FY 1997, OJJDP awarded American Indian Development Associates (AIDA) a 3-year cooperative agreement to provide training and technical assistance to American Indian and Alaskan Native governments to develop or enhance their juvenile justice systems. Under the agreement, AIDA developed a comprehensive approach to juvenile delinquency, violence, and victimization in tribal communities.
Through various programs and activities funded by OJJDPs Tribal Youth Program, tribes today have the opportunity to exercise creativity and adhere to cultural traditions when developing and implementing programs for tribal youth. As discussed in this article, tribes developed a range of discretionary and research/evaluation programs during the first year of the Tribal Youth Program. Continued funding will allow the program to evolve and better meet the needs of American Indian youth by more effectively preventing juvenile delinquency and enhancing the quality of tribal juvenile justice systems.Notes
1. As used throughout this issue of Juvenile Justice and consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2000, November 17, 1999 (Pub. L. 106113), the term American Indian refers to members of any federally recognized Indian tribe, including Alaskan Native tribal governments. The term Indian tribe has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. § 479a): any Indian or Alaskan Native tribe, band, nation or pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe.
2. BOP is responsible for the custody and care of Federal offendersboth those sentenced to imprisonment for Federal crimes and those detained pending trial in Federal court.
3. TYP was created under Pub. L. 106113 (November 17, 1999).
4. OJJDP was established by Congress under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93415, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq.) to help communities and States prevent and control delinquency and improve their juvenile justice systems.
5. Initiative funds are also appropriated to the following offices/agencies for related areas of involvement: COPS (police officers, training and equipment); the Corrections Program Office (construction of detention facilities); and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (tribal courts).
6. Eligible applicants are federally recognized tribes and those corporations representing Alaskan Native villages.
7. The following DOJ components were involved in developing this initiative: the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Tribal Justice, COPS, and OJP. Within OJP, the following offices are involved in coordinating and implementing the initiative: OJJDP, the American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Office, the Corrections Program Office, and the Office of the Assistant Attorney General.
8. DOI is involved in developing and providing technical assistance for the initiative through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). BIA components that are involved in the initiative include the Office of Indian Education Programs, the Office of Economic Development, the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Office of Tribal Services.
9. The Education office involved in developing and providing grant funds for the initiative is the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.
10. HHS agencies involved in developing this initiative include the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Components within SAMHSA that are involved in the initiative include the Center for Mental Health Services; the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
11. Agencies and offices include the following: within DOJ, COPS and OJJDP; within HHS, IHS and SAMHSA; and within ED, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.
12. Central among these meetings was the 1998 Strategic Planning Meeting on Crime and Justice Research sponsored by OJJDP and the National Institute of Justice held in Portland, OR.
13. For more information on American Indian youth gangs, refer to Understanding and Responding to Youth Gangs in Indian Country in this issue of Juvenile Justice.References
Snyder, H.N. In press. Juvenile Arrests by Race 1998. Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Stearns, Robert. 1999. Indian Labor Force Report: Portrait 1997. Washington, DC: Bureau of Indian Affairs Statistics Office.