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Holding Up Both Ends of the Sky: Juvenile Justice Partners in Indian Country Videoconference

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2003
0 pages
Publication Series

This videotape describes six Native American Tribal Youth programs funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).


Due to the high crime rate and lack of resources in the Tribal population, these programs focus on youth violence, court-involved youth intervention, juvenile justice planning, and substance abuse/alcohol-prevention programs. The first program, the Hozhoogi Youth Diversion Project, advocates the basics -- teaching juveniles right from wrong, history and culture, and family harmony. The program makes students and parents accountable for their actions and reinforces strong Navajo traditional beliefs. Before the program there was a 67 percent recidivism rate. After the program, the recidivism rate was reduced to 20 to 30 percent. The second program is Project Free (Mississippi), which is a mental health treatment program that targets 12- to 18-year-olds. The program increases the capacity of the local service system by providing services for high-risk children, truants, and runaways. It also provides an alternative to the increasing youth court caseload. Pre-offenders and first-time offenders are served by the program that integrates therapy with Choctaw traditions. The third program is the Cherokee Challenge Prevention Program (North Carolina) that targets 6th graders in an adventure, service, and culture-based program targeting violent crime and substance abuse. Peer mediation, truancy intervention, learning circles, life skills, and conflict resolution are among the services provided. The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations (Washington) is the fourth program. This program provides alcohol and drug abuse treatment and focuses on the strength of youth, family, and community. Participants enter the program by court order or voluntarily. It is a full-time program that lasts for 30 to 90 days. The juveniles are educated about the court system and their culture. The fifth program is Wind River Youth Justice Project (Wyoming), which focuses on the improvement of Tribal juvenile justice and provides a sentence accountability program. The final program, Tanana Chiefs Conference (Alaska), created Tribal Youth Courts, focuses on youth crime, and promotes accountability and responsibility. The program evaluates, designs, and implements Tribal Youth Courts in 14 pilot villages.

Date Published: July 1, 2003