Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $450,000)
Part of the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative, a joint initiative of DOJ and the U.S. Department of the Interior to improve law enforcement and the administration of criminal and juvenile justice in Indian country, OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program (TYP) supports and enhances tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and strengthen the juvenile justice system for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. This program is authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended and the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 111-8.
The Youth Advocacy Program will generally improve the social conditions of an estimated 200 Tribal juveniles through legal representation by targeting the legal advocacy needs of court-involved Tribal youth ages 9-17. Due to understaffing at the Tribal courts, the historical rate of legal representation for juvenile defendants is only 17%. An alarming number of youth are sentenced to incarceration. The collaborative effort of the University of Arizona and the Tribal Court of Appeals to provide legal advocacy immediately impacts the urgent need for representation during the juvenile offender's court experience. The short-term advocacy services provided in the court building and long-term mentoring services, will reduce offender recidivism and lead to measurable, positive outcomes for at-risk youth. Program activities will include: recruiting and training law students and community members as legal advocates/mentors; providing training workshops as the basis for development of Advocacy Program staff and supervising advocates/mentors matched to juvenile detainees and measuring outcomes of legal and mentoring services.