Criminal Justice in Indian Country: A Theoretical and Empirical Agenda

Posted: 18 Jan 2019

See all articles by Jeffery Todd Ulmer

Jeffery Todd Ulmer

Penn State University

Mindy S. Bradley

University of Arkansas - Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

Examinations of the Native American experience in the US criminal justice system are still relatively sparse, despite earlier calls for increased attention to Native American crime and justice issues. This is unfortunate, as Native Americans are unique among all groups in US society and face distinctive criminal justice jurisdictional complexities. We argue that this uniqueness renders extant racial/ethnic theoretical framings incomplete for understanding the Native American experience with criminal justice in the United States. First, we describe the complexities of criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, discuss how internal colonialism shapes the Native American experience, and outline a set of directions for research to illuminate such jurisdictional complexities. Second, we discuss general theoretical frameworks and their strengths and limitations in explaining the Native American experience. We argue for a focus on the interlocking institutional power that shapes tribal, state, and federal justice coupling. We present an agenda for research on the consequences of contemporary criminal justice arrangements for individual Native Americans and for Native American communities collectively.

Suggested Citation

Ulmer, Jeffery Todd and Bradley, Mindy S., Criminal Justice in Indian Country: A Theoretical and Empirical Agenda (January 2019). Annual Review of Criminology, Vol. 2, pp. 337-357, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3317436 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-criminol-011518-024805

Jeffery Todd Ulmer (Contact Author)

Penn State University ( email )

Department of Sociology
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Mindy S. Bradley

University of Arkansas - Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Fayetteville, AR
United States

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