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Tribal Youth Programs and Services

OJJDP's Tribal Youth Programs and Services helps Tribal communities prevent victimization and juvenile delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve Tribal juvenile justice systems.


OJJDP's Tribal Youth Programs and Services helps Tribal communities prevent victimization and juvenile delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve Tribal juvenile justice systems.

Tribal Consultation

Learn more about the Tribal Consultation:

Programs and Funding

Between fiscal years 2017 and 2023, OJJDP awarded over $88.3 million to help improve outcomes for Tribal youth.

  • Fiscal Year 2023—$20.8 million
  • Fiscal Year 2022—$19.5 million
  • Fiscal Year 2021—$14.2 million

The Office participates in the Justice Department's Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), which allows any of the 574 federally recognized Tribes to submit a single application for most of the Department's Tribal grant programs. OJJDP supports two purpose areas within the solicitation—the Tribal Youth Program and Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts. OJJDP also encourages Tribes to apply for other funding opportunities to support their work in the areas of child protection, delinquency prevention, and juvenile justice systems enhancement. 

To bolster the grantees' efforts, the Tribal Youth Resource Center and the Alaska Native Youth Training and Technical Assistance Project offer comprehensive, culturally relevant support to all Tribes and to rural Alaska Native communities, respectively. The Office also funds research and convenes Tribal consultations and youth summits to help promote the success and well-being of Tribal youth.


Tribal Youth Program

Grants awarded through this program help Tribes improve their juvenile justice systems and support prevention, intervention, and treatment approaches that benefit youth. OJJDP designed the funding to be flexible to accommodate the unique needs of each Tribe since Tribes' cultures, needs, and capacities vary widely.

Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts Program

These grants help participating courts develop or strengthen policies, procedures, and services that address underage drinking and substance use. Tribal juvenile healing to wellness courts often combine judicial intervention with Tribal values, such as spirituality and connection to the family and community, to treat youth.

For more details on OJJDP funding and programs to support American Indian and Alaska Native communities, access the Tribal Youth Initiatives fact sheet

Alaska and Tribal Children's Advocacy Centers Expansion

In FY 2020, OJJDP awarded $14.3 for the expansion of Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) in Alaska and Indian country. The goal of the expansion is to increase the capacity of Tribal CACs and CACs serving AI/AN youth to effectively investigate, prosecute, and intervene in child abuse cases involving AI/AN children and their families. This training and technical assistance focuses on supporting federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native communities to improve investigative responses and treatment services for victims of child abuse and their families.

Performance Reports

Access recent performance reports on the Tribal Youth Program and Tribal Healing to Wellness program.

Training and Technical Assistance

Training and technical assistance (TTA) is available through several sources:

The OJJDP Tribal Youth Resource Center provides federally recognized Tribes with assistance through a variety of approaches including consultation through e-mails, telephone calls, and site visits as well as peer-to-peer dialogue and training, including teleconferences and Web-based discussions. Topics addressed include:

  • capacity building
  • culturally based approaches to prevention and intervention
  • program implementation
  • evaluation
  • enhancement of Tribal court systems
  • strategic planning
  • sustainability
  • youth issues, including gangs and youth leadership
  • community readiness assessments
  • cultural adaptation to evidence-based programs and practices
  • trauma-informed care

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute, along with their partner the National Native Children's Trauma Center provides TTA to OJJDP Tribal grantees and all federally recognized Tribes to increase Tribal communities' skills and knowledge about programs and strategies, building capacity to develop effective and sustainable programs for reducing justice-involved youth and increasing youth potential in Tribal communities.

Through the Alaska Native Youth Training and Technical Assistance Project (FY12–FY20), The Resource Basket, a program of the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc., provides TTA to OJJDP Tribal grantees in Alaska. The mission of The Resource Basket is to help rural communities support healthy, successful and culturally connected Alaska Native youth.

Training and technical assistance is also available for OJJDP funded grantees to support them in selecting and using performance measures and reporting performance measurement data. 

Further information on how to access assistance is available on the Performance Measures webpage.


OJJDP Contacts

Leanetta Jessie
Deputy Associate Administrator
[email protected]

Jazmone Wilkerson
Program Manager
Programmatic Contact, Training and Technical Assistance 
[email protected]

Heather McDonald
Program Manager, Youth Healing to Wellness
[email protected]

Chelsea Logan
Program Manager, Tribal Youth Programs
[email protected]

Training and Technical Assistance Contacts

The Resource Basket
Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP)
907–278–2309 (fax)

The Tribal Youth Resource Center
Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI)
888–233–7383 (fax)


OJJDP Publications

2023 Missing American Indian and Alaska Native Persons: Age 21 and Under
OJJDP, May 2024. This data sheet provides a brief explanation and four charts on missing persons incidents for Native Americans under the age of 21. 1 page. NCJ 306616
Abstract | PDF

AMBER Alert in Indian Country: Protecting Children in Tribal Communities
OJJDP-Sponsored, February 2020. This information sheet briefly describes the AMBER Alert training and technical assistance resources designed specifically for an effective response to cases of missing children in Indian Country. 1 page. NCJ 253539.
Abstract | PDF

Child Protection FAQ and Guide for Tribal Communities
OJJDP-Sponsored, October 2017. This guide provides Tribal communities with an understanding of expectations, steps for an initial response, and frequently asked questions for when a child goes missing. 3 pages. NCJ 251733.
Abstract | PDF

Connect & Thrive: Maintaining Tribal Youth Connections During a Public Health Crisis
OJJDP-Sponsored, April 2020. This flier from the Tribal Youth Resource Center provides tips for maintaining Tribal youth connections during a public health crisis. 4 pages. NCJ 254702.
Abstract | PDF 

CTAS Purpose Area 8 Fact Sheet
OJJDP-Sponsored, 2024. The Youth Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts program was incorporated into the CTAS in Fiscal Year 2015 as Purpose Area 8, the first time that an OJJDP CTAS Purpose Area included a specific court focus. This program aims to develop and enhance the capacity of Tribal court to respond to the alcohol and substance use related issues of youth under the age of 21.

CTAS Purpose Area 9 Fact Sheet
OJJDP-Sponsored, 2024. This fact sheet outlines OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program, which is Purpose Area 9 under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation The program seeks to support and enhance Tribal efforts to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency and strengthen a fair and beneficial juvenile justice system response for American Indian/Alaska Native Youth.

The First Three Hours
OJJDP-Sponsored, October 2017. This information sheet provides Tribal communities tips on how to be prepared as a parent or guardian when a child goes missing. The first three hours are the most crucial window of time for an initial response and gather available resources about a child. 2 pages. NCJ 251734.
Abstract | PDF

In Focus: Mentoring Youth
OJJDP Produced, January 2023. This fact sheet reports on OJJDP funding and technical assistance for youth mentoring programs, which provide participating youth a relationship with a caring adult who can provide the mentee guidance and support. 1 page. NCJ 305732.

Healing Indigenous Lives Native Youth Town Halls
OJJDP-Sponsored, January 2022. Four Native youth-led Town Halls were held virtually as part of the Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative, which is a partnership between United National Indian Tribal Youth and OJJDP. The town halls were open to Native youth ages 14-24 and were facilitated by Peer Guides from each of the four time zones. They included a series of questions that related to questions asked of Tribal leaders in OJJDP's Tribal Consultation. This publication reports on the town hall findings. 29 pages. NCJ 304095. 

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Reauthorization 2018
OJJDP Produced, December 2018. This report presents the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-415; 88 Stat. 1109) as amended by Public Law 115-385, enacted December 21, 2018. NCJ 254286.
Abstract | PDF

Juvenile Justice Reform Act Tribal Provisions Fact Sheet
OJJDP-Sponsored, July 2019. This fact sheet outlines the special provisions that support Tribal youth in the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) of 2018, which became effective in fiscal year 2020. 1 page. NCJ 254703.
Abstract | PDF 

Key Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Made by the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018
OJJDP Produced, June 2019. This fact sheet describes the major components of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) of 2018, with attention to key amendments it makes to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974. 4 pages. NCJ 252961.
Abstract | PDF

Mentoring for Preventing and Reducing Substance Abuse and Associated Risks Among Youth
OJJDP-Sponsored, January 2020. This review examined research on youth mentoring as a strategy for preventing and reducing adolescent substance use, including opioids. 35 pages. NCJ 254503.

Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Tribal Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
OJJDP-Sponsored, April 2016. This literature review cites research on Tribal youth in the juvenile justice systems and details protective factors that can contribute to resiliency and reducing negative outcomes and behaviors. 10 pages. NCJ 249809. 

Redline Version Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act As Amended by the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018
OJJDP Produced, March 2019. This report shows the particular amendments of 2018 that are designed to strengthen core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 by strengthening the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, the reduction of racial and ethnic disparities, and improving the jail removal and sight and sound core protections. 186 pages. NCJ 254285.
Abstract | PDF

Safe Routes Program
OJJDP-Sponsored, October 2017. This fact sheet provides information about the Safe Routes Program in which youth identify a place they can go when they feel unsafe in their own home. NCJ 252020. 6 pages.
Abstract | PDF

Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs
OJJDP-Sponsored, 2009. This report, prepared by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) in partnership with OJJDP, provides preliminary findings based on site visits with five Tribal Youth Programs in 2007 and 2008. The purpose was to investigate how individual programs are succeeding in improving the lives of at-risk youth and strengthening families in Tribal communities. 24 pages. NCJ 228965.
Abstract | PDF

Supporting Tribal Youth Attendance Achievement: A Resource To Support Community-Based Truancy Prevention Programs
OJJDP-Sponsored, June 2022. This report assists readers in understanding and identifying chronic school absenteeism among Tribal youth in school year 2013-14, to assist in developing successful truancy prevention and resource program development.
Abstract | PDF

Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Tip Sheet: Consequences and Rewards
OJJDP-Sponsored, May 2017. The Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court (TJHWC) is a judicial intervention that promotes accountability, healing, and Tribal life-ways for court involved youth who suffer from addiction to alcohol and illegal substances. This tip sheet includes a few tips for creating a consequences and rewards system for youth participants. 1 page. NCJ 251265.

Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Handbook: Practical Planning and Supportive Tools
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. This handbook is designed to support both newly developing and established Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts (TJHWC). Sections are designed to support teams that may be working through a strategic planning process to implement or expand a TJHWC. The handbook includes many resources from across the body of knowledge related to youth behavior, development, and best practices related to juvenile drug treatment and wellness courts. 125 pages. NCJ 251448.
Abstract | PDF

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offense Laws 
OJJDP-Sponsored, December 2022. This resource is designed to assist Tribal communities with creating, re-evaluating, and strengthening their juvenile codes. It provides a starting point for drafting or revising Tribal juvenile justice laws, highlights federal and state law considerations, and includes provisions from model codes and existing Tribal juvenile codes.
Abstract | PDF

The Tribal Ten Key Components and Tribal Youth Considerations
OJJDP-Sponsored, May 2017. The "Tribal Ten Key Components" are critical elements identified by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and serve as a foundation for the development of Drug Courts. 9 pages. NCJ 251264.
Abstract | PDF

Additional Resources

Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Page
CTAS provides federally recognized Tribes and Tribal consortia an opportunity to apply for funding to aid in developing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to public safety.

Department of Justice: Tribal Funding Directory
Users can search over 70 funding opportunities by topic area or program. The updated directory includes initiatives for both discretionary and formula grant programs for which Tribes are eligible. These funding opportunities support a range of effective criminal justice, prevention, intervention, youth, research, reentry, and victim services activities.  

Department of Justice: Tribal Justice and Safety
The Department of Justice launched the Tribal Justice and Safety initiative in June 2009 to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in Tribal communities.

Department of Justice: Defending Childhood
The Department of Justice's Defending Childhood initiative launched in September 2010 to address a national crisis: the exposure of America’s children to violence as victims and as witnesses.

Office of Justice Programs: American Indian & Alaska Native Affairs
Learn about the Justice Programs Council on Native American Affairs and its work groups, and access more Tribal website resources from the Department of Justice. 

OJJDP Tribal Youth Resource Center Videos
The OJJDP Tribal Youth Resource Center YouTube page contains a multitude of webinars focused on topics of interest to Tribal youth-serving programs.