Source: (2001) Rockville, MD: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS

The Community Service Program was proposed to address the growing number of Ho-Chunk youth involved in the court system. The Program was to provide culturally relevant intervention in the juvenile cases for the Black River Falls, Wisconsin Dells, and Wisconsin Rapids areas. The Ho-Chunk Nation Traditional Court was proposed to receive the juvenile cases, and culturally relevant dispositions would be decided. Community service hours would be given which would focus on the youth learning Ho-Chunk culture and/or the Ho-Chunk language. The program began with a grant of $50,000, which was applied to, among other things, payroll, travel, training, meetings, supplies, and stipends. Most of the initial year was spent making contacts and developing the program; a number of cases were taken informally. From January 1999 to February 2000 the Program received 48 referrals. Of the 48, 12 were repeat offenders. The paper concludes that the Community Service Program is a useful option in intervening in juvenile court cases. Although the program has made a positive impact, and will continue to do so, more options are needed. The paper suggests that an option or program that could intervene before a youth becomes involved in the court system would be very beneficial.