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Belmont Law Review

Abstract

American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are a neglected population in the United States. Their health and welfare needs are often swept aside and, because of historical treaty agreements with the United States government, they suffer disparities in the justice system and, consequently, poor health. A deep look into everyday life for an AI/AN tells a story of poverty and relatively low life expectancy, proportionately high incidences of disease, high rates of incarceration, and prolific alcohol and substance abuse. AI/ANs are incarcerated at a higher rate proportionately than their white counterparts. They experience harsher sentences, due in part to jurisdictional laws, and they are the racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement. This paper highlights concerns about how disparities in the justice system impact the health of AI/ANs.

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