Native Americans are disproportionately represented as offenders in the U.S. criminal justice system, particularly in the southwestern and north-central regions. However, until recently there was
little investigation into the reasons for their over-representation. Furthermore, there has been little acknowledgment of the positive contributions of Native Americans to the criminal justice
system—in rehabilitating offenders, aiding victims, and supporting service providers. This book offers a valuable and contemporary overview of how the American criminal justice system impacts Native
Americans on both sides of the law.
Nielsen shows increased sophistication in her understanding of the historical and contemporary dynamics of internal colonization and the consequent relationship to crime in Indian country.
Each of the fourteen chapters of Criminal Justice in Native America was commissioned specifically for this volume. Contributors—many of whom are
Native Americans—rank among the top scholars in their fields. Some of the chapters treat broad subjects, including crime, police, courts, victimization, corrections, and jurisdiction. Others delve
into more specific topics, including hate crimes against Native Americans, state-corporate crimes against Native Americans, tribal peacemaking, and cultural stresses of police officers. Separate
chapters are devoted to women and juveniles.
The well-known scholar Marianne Nielsen provides a context-setting introduction, in which she addresses the history of the legal treatment of
Native Americans in the United States as well as a provocative conclusion that details important issues for current and future research in Native American criminal justice studies. Intended to
introduce students to the substantive concerns of a range of disciplines that contribute to Native American Studies—among them, criminal justice and criminology, law, sociology, and
anthropology—Criminal Justice in Native America will interest all readers who are concerned about relationships between Native peoples and prevailing criminal justice systems.