- Posted April 9, 2012 by
Rosebud, South Dakota
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport Debate: What’s your top issue?
High incarceration rate and disparity in the federal Justice system among Native Americans
The team spent several weeks researching her story and spoke with attorneys on all sides, tribal officials, police officers and many members of her family about the charges she is making and at the problems on the reservations.
Watch their behind-the-scenes video here and read the full story on CNN.com.
- dsashin, CNN iReport producer
As a native american mother living on one of South Dakotas reservation i witness hundreds of young men and women being incarcerated at an alarming rate, with the realization that some of these crimes committed are serious enough to punish the perpetuator, i feel some of these young men and women do not deserve harsh lengthly sentences that the federal justice system gives them. There is a hugh disparity in the federal/state judicial system among native americans and the white society. For a same crime, the native american can get 10, 20,30 years to life and the white person gets probation. The federal judicial system took my son and placed him in an Juvenile Detention Center when he was 16 and when he turned 18, they tried him as an adult and send him to a maximum security prison so far away we could not visit him, upon returning home when he turned 24, the federal/tribal police officers, who were gang members in their early years before becoming officers, beat up my son one morning and charged him with trump-up charges, coerced his pregnant girlfriend to write a statement and these police officers with their special federal agent send my son to prison again with a sentence of 20 years. My son has TBI with vision loss Its been 3 years now. I know there is something in the federal judicial system that needs to be reviewed and changed concerning native americans, I hear the federal judicial system has it in for the native americans and its not only that government, its the state governments too. There are thousands of native american sons and daughters in the federal judical-justice system serving harsh, lengthy sentences that they do not deserve. The federal district judges have GOOD OL' BOY relationships with prosecutors, special appointed prosecutors, court-appointed lawyers, special federal agents and federal/tribal/state police officers. My son is only one among thousands that they have institutionalized. As we get educated in this federal judical system, we become aware that something needs to be done with this system, the Native American is being target for prison just like the african-americans are. We are considered a small percentage of people but there are thousands of Native Americans in the USA. We need to make our voice heard about the disparities in the federal/state judical system. Please consider this article a plea for help and one you would consider reviewing and to get the attention of politicians. The Politicians do not care about our native american sons and daughters who are in prisons across america, they worry about oil, war, money and making more money and if getting more people in prison means money, they will continue to incarcerate and they will continue to make laws to do so. I hope and pray this will come to attention of one of your readers.