The Native American Crime and Justice Research & Policy Institute is a specialized initiative devoted to the study of crime and justice as they relate specifically to Native American populations. The Native American Crime and Justice Research and Policy Institute serves as a beacon of justice, striving for equality and respect within the justice system for all Native American tribes. Leveraging in-depth research, we inform policy changes to create a better future for Indigenous peoples and uphold the dignity of their rich cultural heritage.
The institute’s mission encompasses investigating the nature and extent of crime in Native American communities, observing, and evaluating the operation of criminal justice systems within these communities, and assessing the impact of existing policies on crime rates and justice outcomes. This will be accomplished by exploring the cultural, social, economic, and institutional factors that affect crime patterns and justice administration in native populations. The work in the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, the Native American Crime and Justice Research and Policy Institute will delve into the potential effects of colonization, historical trauma, and current socioeconomic disparities on crime and justice. The institute will aim to generate evidence-informed proposals to influence policy and decision-making relevant to Indigenous Peoples. This could involve researching alternatives to mainstream justice models, such as restorative or community justice models grounded in Indigenous traditions and customs. Our aim is to translate research findings into actionable insights that empower Native American tribes and provide them with the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of the justice system. By collaborating with both Indigenous tribes and policymakers, we seek to eradicate systemic injustices, fostering a society built on respect, fairness, and understanding. The institute will be in a position of a strong advocacy role, ensuring the voices and perspectives of Native American communities are adequately represented in research outputs. This would also involve fostering partnerships with tribal communities and leaders and facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations with external scholars and institutions.
In terms of policy, the institute would seek to inform lawmaking, regulation, and the allocation of resources in ways that reduce crime, improve justice system outcomes, respect Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and promote the wellbeing and resilience of Native American communities. It could also evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of such policies post-implementation and recommend adjustments where necessary. In its education purpose, the institute could offer courses, workshops, seminars, and other educational activities to students, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the broader public to enhance their understanding of the complex issues impacting crime and justice among Native American populations.
At the heart of our mission is the commitment to uphold Indigenous rights and sovereignty, reinforcing their voice in the criminal justice dialogue. We believe in the power of knowledge and its potential to provoke transformative change. Through our efforts, we strive to ensure an equal opportunity for Native Americans in the justice system, thus advocating for a harmonious existence within a culturally diverse society.
CO-DIRECTOR | Thomas G. Blomberg, Ph.D.
CO-DIRECTOR | William R. Latchford
For more information on the Native American Crime and Justice Research & Policy Institute, contact Dean Blomberg.