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Diversion and Re-entry

Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend. Repeat offenders drive over half the arrests, fill court dockets, and are more likely to end up incarcerated. This creates a huge drain on already overtaxed tribal economies and negatively impacts family well-being when removed from the home.

In response to concerns that have been raised by tribes, law enforcement and tribal courts who are encountering unusually high rates of alcohol and/drug related repeat offenders that are dominating the resources of the justice system, the Bureau of Indian Affairs created the Diversion and Re-entry Division (DRD) to assist tribes with developing comprehensive alternatives to incarceration.

Initiatives are intended to expand treatment options and ensure that justice, safety, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery issues remain the topic of consistent focus in our efforts to effectively serve the needs of Tribal Nations.

Staged Approach

BIA uses a staged approach & strategy to address substance abuse concerns in tribal communities.

Effectively Address Alcohol Planning and Program Development

The DRD offers technical assistance services to assist tribes in developing alternatives to incarceration strategies and action plans that effectively address Alcohol Planning and Program Development.

Build Technology Capacity and Tools that Link to a Common Data Platform

DRD is in the process of developing a resource that will help guide tribes towards building technology capacity and tools that link to a common data platform.

Provide an Integrated Service Delivery System of Care

This integrated system of care includes community safety, justice, intervention, treatment and recovery re-entry. These systems encourage individuals to work toward making healthier lifestyle choices.

Improve Solution-focused Sentencing

The BIA is working towards establishing an improved approach for sentencing individuals. This is referred to as Solution-focused Sentencing.

Reduce Recidivism

Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend, thus BIA believes that by implementing a comprehensive strategy that involves better screening, alternative courts, increased treatment opportunities, probation programs, and critical interagency and intergovernmental partnerships between tribal, state and federal stakeholders, we and our tribal partners will succeed in substantially reducing recidivism in Indian Country.

The Recidivism Reduction Initiative (RRI)

The RRI was funded to identify groups of individuals incarcerated at adult and juvenile detention facilities in Indian Country who are at high risk for relapse into criminal behavior. Once identified, OJS would intervene and follow-up with them post intervention for one year. Three reservations were selected to participate in this initiative: Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota; Ute Mountain Reservation in Colorado; and Shoshone-Paiute Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada. RRI activities include the development of a work plan that starts with envisioning the continuum of need in three tribal communities. The plan addresses the following

  • Determine primary contributing factors to community concerns (Planning)
  • Build partnerships within the community (Connecting)
  • Develop a comprehensive set of services (Intervening)
  • Plan for how to fund these services (Financing)
  • Standardize information gathering and establish protocols for information sharing (Screening)
  • Create a common data platform and evaluate the initiative (Evaluating)

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