Published on: Thursday, October 12, 2017

Today the Sentencing Project released its publication on Native Disparities In Youth  Incarceration.  The publication analyzes recently released Department of Justice data collected in 2015 and covering the period 2001 to 2015.  According to the report, Native youth are three times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts, reflecting an increase in the two-and-half times disparity that existed in 2001.  Comparatively, the incarceration rate for Native youths is 261 per 100,000 and for white youths is 86 per 100,000.  Because of the small numbers of Native persons in many states, the report analyzes regional Native-to-white disparities as well as individual states. 

Among the reports key findings: the West North Central Region of the United States (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) has the both the highest incarceration rate and greatest disparity in Native-to-white placements—Native youths in these states are four times more likely to be in placement than white youths; the same as true for the Pacific region; and in five states (Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota), more than 500 per 100,000 Native youth are in placement; finally, the placement disparity between Native youth and white youth more than doubled in Arizona between 2001 and 2015.   

A summary of the publication is available here.   Defender services provides program materials about strategies for litigating race in the criminal justice system.