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OJJDP FY 2017 Defending Childhood American Indian/Alaska Native Policy Initiative: Supporting Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems for Tribes

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This American Indian/Alaska Native Policy Initiative (policy initiative) is designed to increase the capacity of tribes to enhance their juvenile justice and related child serving systems, such as child welfare and education, and to improve the lives of tribal youth exposed to violence. The proposed enhancements that Tribes will implement must align with key recommendations from the report of the Attorney General’s Advisory committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, including:
Recommendation 4.2. Tribes should receive federal, state, and private funding and technical assistance to develop or revise trauma-informed, culturally specific tribal codes to improve their juvenile justice systems.
Recommendation 4.4. Federal, tribal, and state justice systems should use detention of American Indian/Alaska Native youth only when they are a danger to themselves or the community. Detention centers should be close to the child’s community and provide trauma-informed, culturally appropriate, and individually tailored services, including reentry services. Alternatives to detention, such as safe houses, should be significantly developed in American Indian/Alaska Native urban and rural communities.
Recommendation 4.5. Federal, tribal, and state justice systems and service providers should make culturally appropriate, trauma-informed screening, assessment, and care the standard in juvenile justice systems.
The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of federally recognized tribes that have instituted programs, services, and enhancements to their juvenile justice and related child serving systems that improve life outcomes for system-involved or at-risk youth and reduce the impact of their children’s exposure to violence in alignment with the three aforementioned advisory committee recommendations. To meet this goal, OJJDP will provide grant funding to Tribes to achieve the following objectives and deliverables:
Funding is available to support as many as four federally recognized tribes to enhance their juvenile justice and related child serving systems to make them trauma-informed. The selected tribes will work with a training and technical assistance provider, selected by OJJDP, to complete an initial planning phase (needs assessment) that leads to implementation of programs, practices, and resources that support their self-identified goals.

Date Created: May 15, 2017