Dakotas tribe, states, federal officials to fight recidivism

By Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. | State and federal officials in the Dakotas are working with a Native American reservation that straddles the two states’ border on a unique project to reduce the number of released felons who return to a life of crime.

Officials cite a lack of services and jobs as big reasons for recidivism on the Standing Rock Reservation. The Multijurisdictional Re-entry Services Team hopes to come up with a blueprint for addressing those problems.

The team includes federal prosecutors from both states, state corrections and tribal relations officials, and Sioux tribe officials.

Possible measures include identifying employers on and off the reservation who would be willing to hire convicted felons, identifying housing resources and establishing American Indian mentors.

Officials say the effort eventually could be used as a model by other tribes.