ERIC Number: ED161600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Native American Justice Issues in North Dakota.
South Dakota State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
In order to assess the quality of justice available to Native Americans in Burleigh County, North Dakota, investigations were conducted from June 1976 through April 1978 with an informal fact finding meeting as well as interviews with approximately 85 persons in Burleigh County and throughout the state. The 1970 census lists Native Americans living in North Dakota as comprising 2.3 percent of the population, yet the inmate structure of the North Dakota State Penitentiary includes 25 to 30 percent Indians. In Burleigh County during 1977, 32.7 percent of the arrests made for the eight most common offenses were of Indians, although the 1970 census showed Indians comprised only 1 percent of the total county population. The disproportionate number of Native Americans arrested and incarcerated is due to a number of factors. Indian unemployment exceeds 35 percent; this affects community attitudes of prejudice and discrimination. Such attitudes in turn often influence law enforcement officers, court officials, attorneys, and jury panels. Communication between Indian clients and their attorneys or courts is often a problem. Only rarely is an Indian person called for jury duty and it is difficult to get an impartial jury for an Indian defendant. Among the recommendations for improving the justice system for Native Americans in North Dakota are recruiting more Indian enforcement officers, providing ombudsmen versed in judicial procedures to assist Indian defendants, establishing a statewide public defender system, and broadening the jury selection system to include a representative proportion of Native Americans on each jury panel. (DS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: South Dakota State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Identifiers - Location: North Dakota