Juvenile Justice System Failing Native Americans, Studies Show

State courts are twice as likely to incarcerate Native teens for minor crimes such as truancy and alcohol use than any other racial and ethnic group, according to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. And juvenile detention facilities around the country have a disproportionately high number of Native American youth, according to an Indian Law and Order Commission report.

On the reservation, it’s different.

On a recent visit to the Navajo Nation juvenile detention center in Tuba City, it’s quiet. “Right now we don’t have anybody in custody,” says Sgt. Barbara Johnson.

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By: Laurel Morales July 31, 2015