Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium

BIA Releases Model Indian Juvenile Code for Tribal Comment

Most codes should be updated on a regular basis, however, it has been over 25 years since the initial Model Indian Juvenile Code was created. Additionally, after the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, a Memorandum of Agreement among DOI, DOJ, and DHHS was developed to establish a framework for collaboration that results in the coordination of resources and programs. The MOA specifically referenced 25 U.S.C. 2454 and the Model Indian Juvenile Code.

Since the creation of the initial Model Indian Juvenile Code, much has changed in the field of juvenile justice. Since the late 1980s, many jurisdictions have engaged in reforms of their juvenile justice systems in response to research finding that the standard juvenile justice system model used in the United States showed no impact to juvenile delinquency and may have, in fact, increased delinquency rates. Research has also found that adolescent brains develop later in life than previously thought. Researchers, advocates and policy makers urge changes to the more punitive models of juvenile justice and encourage systems that are more restorative.

Tribes are encouraged to submit comments on the proposed Model Indian Juvenile Code by May 27, 2016 to