American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth experience violence and trauma exposure at rates far in excess of U.S. young people in general. Given rates of trauma exposure in the broader juvenile justice population, the evidence strongly suggests that AI/AN young people involved with the juvenile justice system should be considered among the most vulnerable of all youth.

The purpose of this training and technical assistance effort is to support the development and implementation of innovative, culturally appropriate, and sustainable trauma-informed response models across all child-serving systems in tribes participating as Category 1 Defending Childhood demonstration sites. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP) has funded the National Native Children’s Trauma Center (NNCTC) and its partner agencies, American Institutes of Research (AIR) and the NCMHJJ, to advance this effort through culturally appropriate, trauma-informed training and technical assistance. By equipping tribes to create trauma-informed juvenile justice systems that are consistent with their own cultural values and that include such features as enhanced family and community engagement resources, diversion programs, and the development of safe houses, the OJJDP can incubate replicable models for change.

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