Tribal Juvenile Justice Background and Recommendations

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children are the future of Indian Country. The next generation of AI/AN youth brings purpose and grounding to tribal communities. Tribal governments are responsible for protecting, teaching, and guiding their youth, providing services to families, and creating supportive environments where children can flourish. In exercising this responsibility, tribal governments rely on collaborations and partnerships with other stakeholders. Tribes are committed to supporting all of their youth, including those who struggle, make mistakes, and end up in courtrooms.

This issue brief provides an overview of the challenges that AI/AN youth face in the juvenile justice system and highlights policy changes that would improve the experience of AI/AN children within
the system and support at-risk AI/AN youth. It also provides interested stakeholders with background information to inform much-needed conversations about reforming the juvenile justice system to better support AI/AN children.