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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. Interconnected. According to natural laws, principals and

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reversing the legacy of incarceration for american indian youth

Reversing the Legacy of Incarceration forAmerican Indian Youth

Stephanie Autumn

Education Development Center

Technical Assistant Specialist

Safe Schools – Healthy Students

Project Director, Tribal Youth T/TA Center


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
  • 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..
our chaos
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 -124 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. 1999 NCJ173386

our youth s chaos
Our Youth’s Chaos..

On a national average American Indian youth

are less than 2% of the population – yet

  • They are 15 -20 % 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 2002 - OJJDP
reversing the legacy tribal youth programs
Reversing the Legacy - Tribal Youth Programs

Provide prevention services to impact risk factors for delinquency

Provide interventions for court‑involved tribal youth

Improve the tribal juvenile justice system

Provide alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs

Provide mental health program services

spaces ancient modern
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

restorative practices
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.

restorative practices a paradigm shift on how we respond to conflict
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”
with them not for them
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 tothem.

reversing the legacy
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.
together we can
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.

typ t ta

Stephanie Autumn, Project Director

Phone: (507) 697-6395

Fax: (507) 697-5402


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

it begins ends with each of us
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