Disproportionate Arrest Rates among Native Americans

1.     The U.S. is a Country founded on the principles of justice and freedom and to this day the exception is for Native Americans.

·        The U.S. granted citizenship to native Americans in 1924

·        My grandmother was 26 years old.

·        My mother was born 6 years after that

·        My father was born 1 year before citizenship in 1923

·        This also was 5 years AFTER women were allowed to vote

·        59 years AFTER black males were allowed to vote.

·        The Indian Imprisonment Act of 1675 prohibited Indigenous Peoples from entering the city of Boston.

·        This Act was recently repealed in November 24, 2004

·        This Act provided States and City governments ordering Indians to stay out or get permission before they crossed State line or entering a city, Indians were NOT allowed inside the city after dark. Some of these laws are still on the books today around the country.

·        Indians were also not allowed into legally into the State of Georgia for nearly 150 years up until1980.

·        Indians had been forced from their land in the early 1830s in a journey that became the Trail of Tears.

·        170 years ago Indians were forcibly removed from Georgia after state legislature and their claims to Indian lands resulted in the Indian Removal Act of 1830

·        This act denied Indians residence, the right to testify in court and to assemble in Georgia.

·        The Trail of tears resulted in a 116 day march where 4000 Cherokees died.

·        The Indian Removal Act was recently appealed in March of 1980.

·        Indians were not legally allowed to live in these Cities or States until these Acts of Congress were repealed.

·        These Acts continue to promote the prejudice that still exist in a county founded on justice and Freedom.


2.     There are many issues regarding Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System.

·        Disproportionate Incarceration at a much higher imprisonment, per capita than any other ethnicity other than African Americans.

·        A disregard for Cultural and Spiritual practices

·        Native Americans have a lack of access to their community once imprisoned.

·        There is a higher percentage of substance abuse resulting form imprisonment

3. The first is disproportionate incarceration. Estimating that the numbers are higher now approximately 26,000 are in U.S. jails, prisons and they are sent there at a rate 38% higher then the general population according to stats in the year 2000. (THE FOUNDATION FOR NATIONAL PROGRESS WEBSITE charts showing incarcerations rates-http:// motherjones .com/prisonsatlas.html-D.O.J. statistics American Indians and crime.)

4.     Between 1996-2000 in ALASKA incarcerations were:

·        White males rose 6%

·        Native males rose 26%

·        White females totals up 26%

·        Native females skyrocketed by 41% in just four years.


·        Native American males and females make up to 35% of all inmates

6.     MONTANA

·        Native males make up 18.8 %

·        Native females make up 29.6% the total amount of females went up from 17 to 81 an increase of 376%

·        There is little to no research of females increasing in incarcerations Native females are vastly outpacing white females.

7.     Juveniles Similar disparities prevail among juveniles.

“We are tracking one group of kids from kindergarten to prison, and we are teracking one group of kids from kindergarten to college” – Lana Guinier

  • In the United States, youth of color are caught in the war on drugs.

  • Incarceration cost them their education

  • The Higher Education Act., passed in 1998 by the United States in 1998 delays or denies federal financial aid for higher education for any student convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drug conviction.

  • Because crimes committed on Indian reservations often fall within Federal Jurisdiction, native American Youth and Adults who engage in minor criminal conduct that ordinarily would be prosecuted in a State Court face federal prosecution and federal penalties that are often far harsher than those imposed in a state court.

  • For this reason 60% of youths in federal custody are Native Americans.

  • White youth aged 12-17 are more than a third more likely to have sold drugs than African American

  • The National Institute of Drug Abuse survey of high school seniors for 1998/1999 shows that white students use Cocaine a 7 to 8 times the rate of students of color.

  • Heroin at 7 times the rate.

8.     Treatment centers become “for profit centers” at over $250 dollars a day with poor to no long term results, in other words “no bang for the buck’.

·        Most minority juveniles are sent to Out of State treatment centers. Minority youth compared to white youth make up 57%  of secure detention facilities in 1997

·        MINNESOTA Native juveniles are 23% juvenile arrest

·        71% are transferred to adult courts

·        70% are transferred to adult courts.

·        SOUTH DAKOTA Native Juveniles placements are at 27%

·        MONTANA 18% incarcerated are  Native juvenile inmates

·        ALASKA 36%  incarcerated are  Native juvenile inmates

·        Native American youth have died in the juvenile incarceration and treatment facilities from abuse and neglect at the hands of poorly paid trained staff.

9.     The Montana American civil liberties Union states: “People who claim hat racism is not an issue….their heads are in the clouds. Racism here is real and profound it’s demonstrated in the prison system, in processing, profiling, arrest, public defense and probation.”

·        Native Americans who are not institutionalized frequently tend to take the blame for offenses

·        Poor defense results in plea bargaining for lack of investigation and expense to the court at the disparity of Native Americans.

·        Chief Judge of the Jicarilla Apache states “  Among the Apache the telling of the truth is extremely important. I suspect this is a standard for most native Americans not institutionalized.”

10. Native Americans that are incarcerated are shipped to other States. Montana ships to Texas and so on……

·        Native Americans are closely bonded to their communities of origin.

·        To maintain their rehab potential they need to maintain that connection

·        SOUTH DAKOTA, where 85% on the reservation are unemployed-without drivers licenses-cars- credit cards-it is very difficult for family support when inmates are transferred thousands of miles

·        Sadly children lose the most…….

11. Steven Waucau states “ Being Indian is to uphold a justice system older than any government”

·        Tribal law is based on reconciliation not so much retribution.

·        These systems are guided by unwritten laws, and traditional practices learned by example and through oral teachings of our tribal elders.

·        Indians don’t store their laws in books, they are kept in their minds and hearts

·        American law is based on retribution, it’s hierarchical, punitive guided by codified and written rules, procedures that retribution in the form of punishment to appease society and the victim.

·        1 in 25 Native Americans 18 years or older is under the jurisdiction of the nations Criminal Justice System.

President Clinton signed the Native American Free Exercise Act, which allowed for spiritual leaders, materials used in ceremonies in to prisons. BEFORE THAT SIGNING Christian Choirs were allowed in prisons and traditional ceremonies were not.
Julienne Xene Laverdure Cross
Peace Maker/Anishanaabe
P.O. Box 1057
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin -54538-

Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment

Lethality assessment is the attempt to identify the circumstances when a batterer is most dangerous by evaluating the batterer’s beliefs and patterns of violence, coercion, and control. The following information was developed by Barbara J. Hart, Esq. In Assessing Whether Batterer’s Will Kill. The assessment looks at a number of predictors. The underlying assumption is the higher the number of predictors, the higher the potential for the batterer to commit a homicide or engage in potentially lethal behaviors.

Predictors of Lethality Include:

  • Threats of suicide or homicide including killing himself, the victim, children or relatives.
  • Fantasies of homicide or suicide in the guise of fantasizing “who, how, when and/or where to kill.”
  • Weapons owned by the perpetrator who has threatened to used them or has used them in the past (the use of guns is a strong predictor of homicide).
  • Feelings of “ownership” of the victim.
  • “Centrality” to the victim (idolizing and extreme dependence).
  • Separation from the victim (this is an extremely dangerous time when perpetrators make the decision to kill).
  • Dangerous behavior increases in degree with little regard for legal or social consequences.
  • Hostage-taking
  • Depression
  • Repeated calls to the police.

Lethality assessments are more an art than a science and cannot be considered precise by any means. They are not a tool for certain prediction, but rather one for risk assessment and safety planning or intervention. Social service providers should error on the side of caution and inform their clients that any abuser can potentially be lethal.

Bullying isn’t always obvious in any circumstance or age.

Many of us think we know bullying when we see it but in adult situations it can fly below our perceptual radar.

I noticed a search” tired of being bullied at work” and recalled an article I read recently in the Milwaukee Journal on  May 19, 2009 a column by  Philip Chard. Mr. Chard has a website “I am a nature therapist (a psychotherapist who uses nature interaction to foster emotional healing), a newspaper columnist, book author, nature photographer, nationally acclaimed speaker and trainer, accomplished wilderness backpacker and Great Lakes sailor.” I will link this on the sidebar.

Mental maladies have many causes, but whenever I’m assessing someone who complains of depression, anxiety, self-destructive tendencies or out-of-control anger, I always include this question:

“Have you ever been bullied?”

This inquiry may conjure images of some ruffian or gang of miscreants pounding on a smaller kid, but bullies come in many guises and operate in a variety of venues, including the workplace and, increasingly, on the Internet.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the majority of bullying is not physical. Rather, most of it involves slander, mockery, taunting, exclusion and other forms of verbal and interpersonal abuse. While most who bully physically are male, the mental variety is distributed fairly evenly between both genders.

Research has documented the wide ranging and grave psychological damage wreaked on the victims of bullying, particularly those who are chronically picked on while young. And these wounds do not easily heal, even with time. Teens and adults who were bullied as children are at a far greater risk for developing depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal impulses and even psychotic symptoms.

Many of us think we know bullying when we see it, but in adult situations it can fly below our perceptual radar. In the workplace, it is usually termed “harassment” or “hostile environment,” and its perpetrators often demonstrate sophistication and stealth in how they single out and torment others.

This can involve behaviors such as the silent treatment, ambiguously sarcastic remarks, innuendo, glaring and subtle insults packaged as humor. These so-called passive-aggressive tactics afford their user some degree of protection, meaning if the bully gets “called out,” he or she can deny sinister intent (“I was just joking” or “You misunderstood me”).

Not surprisingly, there is evidence that workplace bullying is on the rise, in part because of the increased stress of job insecurity and “doing less with more,” which can catalyze competition, conflict and jockeying for power and recognition. So even adults who were never bullied as children may find themselves in the same interpersonal fix as that proverbial kid on the playground beset by the local goon squad.

The considerable power of bullying to wound the human spirit stems from our desire to belong and be affirmed by others, which forms the foundation of self-esteem. While children are more needy and vulnerable in this regard than many adults, these needs are basic to the vast majority of humans of all ages. After all, we are social animals.

Some of us are more sensitive in this regard than others, but most individuals craft their self-image from the feedback they receive from their social group. Repeated negative input, combined with the learned helplessness that often accompanies being victimized, can create a lasting imprint that is difficult to erase.

But make no mistake, even if fists don’t fly, bullying is an act of violence.

Its wounds, while less visible than those from physical assault, are just as severe and often harder to heal.

Philip Chard is a psychotherapist, author and trainer. Names used in this column are changed to honor client confidentiality. E-mail him at pschard@earthlink.net or visit www.philipchard.com.

I hope this helps….some.

13 Steps to an Abusive Man’s Process of Change

1. Admit fully to his history of psychological, sexual, and physical abusiveness toward any current or past partners whom he abused. Denial and minimizing need to stop, including discrediting your memory of what happened. He can’t change if he is continuing to cover-up, to others or to himself, important parts of what he has done.

2. Acknowledge that the abuse was wrong, unconditionally. he needs to identify the justifications he has tended to use, including the various ways that he may have blamed you, and to talk in detail about why his behaviors were unacceptable without slipping back into defending them.

3. Acknowledge that his behavior was a choice, not a loss of control. For example, he needs to recognize that there is a moment during each incident at which he gives himself permission to become abuisive and that he chooses how far to let himself go.

4. Recognize the effects his abuse has had on you on your children, and show empathy for those. He needs to talk in detail about the short-and-long term impact that his abuse has had, including fear, loss of trust, anger, and loss of freedom and other rights. And he needs to do this without reverting to feeling sorry for himself or talking about how hard the experience has been for him.

5. Identify in detail his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes. He needs to speak is detail about the day-to-day tactics of abuse he has used. Equally important, he must be able to identify his underlying beliefs and values that have driven those behaviors, such as considering himself entitled to constant attention, looking down on you as inferior, or believing that men aren’t responsible for their actions if “provoked” by a partner.

6. Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes to replace the abusive ones he is stopping. You can look for examples such as improving how well he listens to you during conflicts and at other times, carrying his weight of household responsibilities and child care, and supporting your independence. He has to demonstrate that he has to come to accept the fact that you have rights and that they are equal to his.

7. Reevaluate his distorted image of you, replacing it with a more positive and empathetic view. He has to recognize that he has had mental habits of focusing on and exaggerating his grievances against you and his perceptions of your weaknesses and to begin instead to compliment you and pay attention to strengths and abilities.

8. Make amends for the damage he has done. He has to develop a sense that he has a debt to you and to your children as a result of his abusiveness. He can start to make up somewhat for his actions by being consistently kind and supportive, putting his own needs on the back burner for a couple of years, talking with people whom he has mislead in regard to the abuse and admitting to them that he lied, paying for objects that he has damaged, and many other steps related to cleaning up the emotional and literal messes that his behaviors have caused. (At the same time, he needs to accept that he may never be able to fully compensate you.)

9. Accept the consequences of his actions. He should stop whining about, or blaming you for, problems that are the result of his abuse, such as your loss of desire to be sexual with him, the children’s tendency to prefer you, or the fact that he is on probation.

10. Commit to not repeating his abusive behaviors and honor that commitment. He should not place any conditions on his his improvement, such as saying that he won’t call you names as long as you don’t raise your voice to him. If he does backslide, he cannot justify his abusive behaviors by saying, “But I’ve done great for five months; you can’t expect me to be perfect,” as if a good period earned him chips to spend on occasional abuse.

11. Accept the need to give up his privileges and do so. This means saying good-bye to double standards. to flirting with other women, to taking off with his friends all week-end while you look after the children, and to being allowed to express anger while you are not.

12. Accept that overcoming abusiveness is likely to be a life long process. He at no time can claim that his work is done by saying to you, “I’ve changed but you haven’t,”  or complain that he is sick of hearing about the abuse and control and that “it’s time to get past all that.” He needs to come to terms with the fact that he will probably need to be working on his issues for good and that you may feel the effects of what he has done for many years.

13. Be willing to be accountable for his actions, both past and future. His attitude that he is above reproach has to be replaced by willingness to accept feedback and criticism, to be honest about any backsliding, and to be answerable for what he does and how it affects you and your children.

Author: Lundy Bancroft Why Does He Do That?

Youth at higher risk of involvement in the sex trade

All youth can be recruited or forced into the sextrade.

However some youth are more at risk.

Youth in foster care and youth with child welfare involvement

A 2007 research report out of New York State found a high correlation between child welfare involvement and subsequent commercial sexual exploitation. between 85 to 89% of youth reported to be commercially sexually exploited had prior child welfare involvement.1

Youth who are homeless,AWOL, runaway, in unstable housing  situations

Research results demonstrate a consistently high risk of involvement in survival sex or other forms of commercial sexual exploitation for youth without stable housing. the most recent federally funded national study found 70% of homeless youth are commercially sexually exploited.2

Out of school youth, unemployed youth, low or no income youth

While not documented specifically in research, youth in group discussions have reported a lack of money or survival needs (even when youth have a place to live), lack of access to jobs and lack of skills from dropping  out or being pushed out of school as direct links to their involvement or consideration of the sex trade to make money.

Youth with family involved in the sex trade and/or an active sex trade in their community

Youth in prevention workshops continue to identify being around an active sex trade in their community or family members involved in the sex trade as a risk factor. Youth stress that people in the community are more likely to encourage or recruit them and an active sex trade normalizes the option.

Youth with a history of sexual abuse

All research studies that ask youth who are or have been involved in the sex trade about previous sexual abuse prior to any commercial sexual exploitation find rates of up to over 90%. Research also suggests that sexual abuse is a factor independent of any resulting running away or substance abuse.3

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth

Personally I disapprove of the word Queer…..by definition….abnormal or odd.  Traditional teachings tell me that all human beings are spiritually equal in creation and have a purpose in the grand scheme of life.  But the movement is because of the context in which it was reclaimed, queer has sociopolitical connotations, and is often preferred by those who are activists, by those who strongly reject traditional gender identities, by those who reject distinct sexual identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight, and by those who see themselves as oppressed by the heteronormativity of the larger culture. In this usage it retains the historical connotation of “outside the bounds of normal society” and can be construed as “breaking the rules for sex and gender.” It can be preferred because of its ambiguity, which allows “queer” identifying people to avoid the sometimes strict boundaries that surround other labels. In this context, “queer” is not a synonym for LGBT as it creates a space for “queer” heterosexuals as well as “non-queer” (“straight-acting”) homosexuals.4

LGBTQQ youth make up 20 to 40% of all homeless youth, resulting in high rates of survival sex.5

Additionally, a study in Canada found LGBT youth were three times more likely to trade sex for survival than heterosexual youth.5 Almost 60% of transgender youth reported exchanging sex for money in recent Chicago based research.

Youth of Color

African American minors are over-represented in prostitution arrests, comprising 55% of all arrests of juveniles for prostitution across the U.S. in 2002. Some of the evidence suggests this may have to do with unequal law enforcement strategies that target communities of color. However this may also reflect a higher involvement of African American, Latino, Asian,  and Native American or First Nations, that  experience higher rates of poverty and involvement in the child welfare system.

1. Gragg, F. et al.  (2007). New York Prevalence Study of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children. http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/reports/CSEC-2007.pdf. Accessed April 8, 2009

2. Estes. R and Weiner N. (2001). The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the United States. Canada and Mexico. http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/-restes/csec Files/Complete CSEC 020220.pdf. Accesses April 8, 2009

3. Simons. R and Whitebeck, L. (1991) Sexual Abuse as a Precurser to prostitution and Victimization Among Adolescent and Adult Homeless Women. Journal of family Issues, 12(3).

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer

5. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (2007). Lesbian,gay, bisexual and trangender youth: An epidemic of homelessness. http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports and research/homeless youth. Accessed April 8, 2009

6. (Gaetz, S. (2004). Safe streets for whom? Homeless youth, social exclusion, and criminal victimization. canadian Journal of Criminal Justice, 46(6).)

7.Howard Brown Health Center (2008). http://www.howardbrown.org/uploadFiles /HowardBrownResearchNews0408.pdf. Accessed April 8. 2009

8. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2002). Crime in the United States. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cuis 02/html/web/arrested/04-table43.html. Accessed April 8, 2009

Claudine O”Leary    http://www.rethinkresources.net

A few personal thoughts by yours truly…

What You can Do if a Child Discloses Sexual Assault to You

  • Respond calmly and in a “matter of fact” style
  • DO NOT ask leading questions (Leave that to a child forensic interviewer)
  • Ask simply: Who What When Where?
  • Tell the child you will get them help
  • Call Child Protective Services, Indian Child Welfare and or Law Enforcement.


Signs of Sexual Assault

Physical Evidence

Difficulty Going To The Bathroom

Blood of Semen on the child’s diaper or clothing.

Unexplained lesions in genital and or anal area.

Presence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Frequent vaginal infections

  • Behavioral changes
  • Failure to thrive
  • Extreme change in mood, grades, social interactions
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fear of being left alone with someone
  • Mental health deterioration, Suicidal tendencies
  • Age inappropriate knowledge of Sexual Behaviors
  • Sexualized behaviors
  • Poor body image and or self esteem
  • Self mutilation
  • Delinquency
  • At risk behaviors