Policing Native Americans Off the Rez
book chapter, from Jeffrey Ian Ross and Larry Gould (Eds.), Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System, 2006, Paradigm Publishers, pp. 135-142.
5 Pages Posted: 22 May 2014
Date Written: 2006
In many U.S. cities, particularly those in the western United States among the homeless and downtrodden are a sizable number of Native Americans. The more visible can be found sitting on park benches, hanging out on "Skid row," drinking alcohol from paper bags, sprawled out on sidewalks sleeping, or hidden in doorways at night (e.g. Kuttner and Lorincz, 1970). They have typically made their way to an urban location from the reservation and are finding it difficult to go back or do not want to return. Alternatively, these individuals may have lost their marginal jobs and are now caught in a downward economic spiral.
Unfortunately, little scholarly research has been conducted on the relationship between Native Americans and municipal police in border towns or metropolitan areas with moderate to large populations of indigenous peoples. In this chapter I attempt to redress this shortcoming by outlining the problem, reviewing the research, and presenting some potential areas for future investigation. Although in some parts of the United States, native reservations abut municipalities (including big city jurisdictions) (Fogelson, 1977) and natives are just as likely to have contact with park or housing police, the focus of this chapter is on municipal policing in large urban centers. Understandably, policing Native Americans may be more of a problem for small town police forces (e.g., Galliher, Donovan, and Adams, 1975; Royster and Fausett, 1988), the focus of the chapter is on the big city environments.
Keywords: Native Americans, police, urban centers, social problems, reservations, skid row, alcoholism, homelessness,
JEL Classification: H79, H89, I31, I39, J15, J69, K14, K19, K39, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation