Click here to watch video of Chairman Hoeven’s opening remarks.
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened an oversight hearing to examine juvenile justice programs for Native youth. The hearing featured testimony from officials from the Departments of Justice and the Interior, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and a tribal court as well as an expert on Native juvenile justice. The witnesses expanded upon and provided further analysis of the GAO Report entitled: “Native American Youth Involvement in Justice Systems and Information on Grants to Help Address Juvenile Delinquency.”
“From 2010 to 2016, there were 105,487 total arrests of Native American youth reported by state and local law enforcement agencies,” Hoeven began. “The number of Native youth in the federal system far exceeded other youth. While the numbers declined over time, they are still unacceptable. We need to focus more attention and work on them to help these children turn their lives around.”
Earlier this year, Chairman Hoeven, along with Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), sponsored S.1953 – the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017. This bill would help address several of the issues identified in the report, including:
collecting data and tribal affiliation information;
developing traditional or cultural programs as promising or evidence-based programs; and
determining more efficient approaches to public safety and behavioral health related programs for juvenile justice.
For witness testimony and video of the hearing click here.