Tribal courts handling juvenile justice

FAIRBANKS- Juvenile justice was a key topic at the Alaska Tribal Court Conference this morning. A panel of experts from different backgrounds agreed that tribal courts can have positive impacts on youth offenders. Tribal justice works slowly to understand a young person and issue personalized sentences; then the offender’s charges disappear after completing their sentence. State courts typically issue standard sentences for misdemeanors and the charges can hurt a juvenile’s future opportunities. A tribal specialist for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Lisa Jaeger said tribal courts may soon have the ability to handle particular misdemeanor cases, and steer juveniles down a healthier path. TCC is working with the Alaska Department of Law to roll-out new tribal agreements in the coming months.