Turning Native Kids into Criminals
The risk assessment done after someone has been detained by law enforcement—an evaluation of how likely it is that a person will commit violence or other serious crime in the near future—is a powerful tool. It can be a major factor in determining whether a youth goes home or goes to a jail, treatment center, foster care or group residential setting far from home. It can be used to decide whether a teenager enters the criminal justice system or is diverted to a wellness program run by his or her tribe. It can radically change a kid’s life—often for the worse.
Risk assessments may be conducted by psychologists, mental health nurses, corrections officers or social workers when a person has been detained in jail or a mental health facility by law enforcement.