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Reversing the Legacy of Incarceration for American Indian Youth Stephanie Autumn Education Development Center Technical Assistant Specialist Safe Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Reversing the Legacy of Incarceration for American Indian Youth Stephanie Autumn Education Development Center Technical Assistant Specialist Safe Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reversing the Legacy of Incarceration for American Indian Youth Stephanie Autumn Education Development Center Technical Assistant Specialist Safe Schools – Healthy Students Project Director, Tribal Youth T/TA Center

2 Interconnected According to natural laws, principals and values everything is interconnected Each tribal nation is guided by a set of indigenous laws, principals and values We believe all creatures, plants four legged, winged ones, two legged all forms of life will abide by these laws

3 Interconnected If we live in harmony with these laws, we will live in harmony, balance and peace If we live out of harmony, we will know chaos..

4 Our Chaos.. American Indians experience a per capita rate of violence which is more than twice of those of the U.S. resident population On a per capita basis American Indians have a rate of prison incarceration about 22% higher than the national average The average annual violent crime rate among American Indians per 1000 persons ages 12 or older is about 2 ½ times the national average Arrests of American Indians under the age 18 for alcohol related violations is five times the national average. American Indian and Crime – Lawrence A. Greenfield and Steven K. Smith BJS Statisticians – Feb NCJ173386

5 Our Youth’s Chaos.. On a national average American Indian youth are less than 2% of the population – yet They are % of the total population of incarcerated youth in the United States 30% serve their maximum sentence 40 % run from state sanctioned post release placements Experience a 45% recidivism rate nation wide Incarceration rates are increasing between 3 to 5 % each year Have limited access to family, culture and spiritual practices while incarcerated U.S. Department of Corrections OJJDP

6 Reclaiming Our Most Precious Resource – Our Youth

7 Reversing the Legacy - Tribal Youth Programs I. Provide prevention services to impact risk factors for delinquency II. Provide interventions for court ‑ involved tribal youth III. Improve the tribal juvenile justice system IV. Provide alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs V. Provide mental health program services

8 Spaces – Ancient & Modern Restorative Practices can be traced to ancient indigenous cultures, recurring in various forms in many different cultures around the world. Long before we delegated our conflict to experts, we came together in peace making spaces to work through our differences and to make decisions for the common good

9 Restorative Practices Contemporary practices & principals of consensus –building, dialogue, and dispute resolution have helped shape our under- standing that Restoratives Practices is not a fad or the latest technique, but an embodiment of both ancient and modern Wisdom - alive, free, open & constructive, especially when conflict arises.

10 Restorative Practices – A Paradigm Shift on How We Respond to Conflict Restorative Practices builds on the premise:  From coercion to healing  From solely individual to individual and collective accountability  From primary dependence on the state to greater self reliance within community  From justice as “getting even” to justice as “getting well”

11 With “Them” & Not “For Them” The fundamental unifying hypothesis of Restorative Practices is disarmingly simple: Human beings are happier, more cooperative, productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in position of authority do things with then, rather than to them.

12 Reversing the legacy  Tribal Nations and communities work together to create policy change within the U.S. Department of Corrections that results in a national funding initiative for cultural based and restorative practices pre and post release programs for incarcerated American Indian youth  Tribal Nations and communities, law enforcement, schools and juvenile justice agencies create collaborative partnerships that will result in an increase in prevention and intervention programs for American Indian youth.

13 I Believe

14 Together We Can Pray, love and work tirelessly to reclaim the future; resulting in eliminating the cycle of incarceration for American Indian children and their children’s children within the next twenty years.

15 TYP T/TA Stephanie Autumn, Project Director Phone: (507) Fax: (507) EDC Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, provides training and technical assistance to OJJDP Tribal Youth Program grantees as well as all federally recognized tribes. Visit TYTTAC at

16 It Begins & Ends With Each of Us… Each one of us is setting an example for someone else and each one of us has a responsibility to shape the future as we wish it to be


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