Examining How JDAI Sites Interact with Native Youth and Tribes

Posted November 28, 2018
By Association on American Indian Affairs
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Examining How JDAI Sites Interact with Native Youth and Tribes


Funded by Casey Foundation, this report examines how Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative® (JDAI) sites interact with Native American youth and tribes to support appropriate cultural alternatives to detention. The researchers utilized survey and interview data to pinpoint two key areas of concern:

  • a lack of reliable processes for identifying and collecting data on Native youth; and
  • a lack of outreach to tribes regarding a justice-involved Native youth.

The document ends by highlighting emerging best practices at JDAI sites serving American Indian youth in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico and Washington and sharing recommendations for reform.

Findings & Stats on Native American Youth and Juvenile Justice

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway on JDAI and Native American Youth

The cut to the chase conclusion? Native Youth deserve better

The surveys and interviews conducted show that the majority of JDAI sites responding have not been collecting data on Native American youth or their tribal affiliation, and were either relying on youth to self-identify as Native or allowing staff to make unilateral determinations on whether or not a youth was Native. Considering that JDAI relies on robust data collection to support the direction of alternatives to detention, these findings problematic.