Improving Native Americans Views on Criminal Justice Specialists

Native American citizens employ separate law enforcement entities (Bureau of Indian Affairs) to maintain safety and order in Indian reservations. However, Native Americans often have negative overviews of federal officers and other criminal justice professionals. There are several reasons why such relationships are almost non-existent. The history of this community creates an environment in which federal organizations are viewed as inherently oppressive and discriminatory against Natives. Moreover, evidence shows that this particular demographic is most vulnerable to deadly encounters with police officers (Hansen, 2017). Thus, it is clear that there are certain difficulties when it comes to effective communication, cooperation, and trust

An example is Paul Castaway’s case when the police shot the mentally ill individual after he threatened to kill himself with a knife before approaching the officers (Hansen, 2017). While the police were entitled to use force on a person with a weapon who is seemingly ready to use it, the circumstances may have been different. Castaway had mental problems, was under the influence, and was actively provoking the police into shooting and ending his life. In this case, a Native American male was in distress, under the influence, and asking the police to kill him. There is a possibility that the individual was more of a threat to himself than anyone else.

Understanding the public is a key solution to abolishing the distance between certain communities and the police. Thus, officers have to have compassion, understanding of different cultural differences, and desire to help, assist, or detain rather than use deadly force when not necessary. Since there is a public demand for reforms in the system, this practice is necessary. Some outcomes include:

  • Less police-related deaths
  • More two-sided cooperation between criminal justice professionals and the public
  • More satisfaction with the current state with the criminal justice system

Diversity training is another professional practice that can help establish an open-minded and diverse environment. According to researchers, crimes are less prominent when the police setting or the community is prone to diversity (Spell et al., 2021). Thus, diversity training will affect both officers in terms of professional relationships and the public in terms of a lack of discrimination and bias. The outcomes include:

  • The presence of police officers from different backgrounds
  • Less discrimination-based arrests and racial profiling
  • Higher chance of minorities seeing representation in criminal justice settings

Procedural justice helps approach possibly dangerous encounters with fairness and based on existing guidelines. In this case, officers are to take a neutral position and base decisions on existing laws, rules, and policies instead of being driven by internal bias against one particular person or demographic. The outcomes of implementing this practice include:

  • A lack of racially-driven arrests, profiling, and brutality
  • Fairness in approaching every suspect in the same manner
  • Mitigation of risks of unjustified use of deadly force

Police legitimacy is an essential measure of the way the public views law enforcement. In order for the police to maintain legitimacy, citizens have to be satisfied with how law and order are maintained. Thus, the practice is based on officers trying to fulfill the demands of the public in the most favorable way. Some of the outcomes are:

  • High satisfaction of the public with the law enforcement
  • Fewer incidents where criminal justice professionals overstep boundaries
  • Each police officer will have to consider the community when making life and death decisions

Diverse hiring practices are a significant step towards creating less tension. Specifically, the criminal justice professionals have to be represented by diverse ethnicities, cultures, races, and backgrounds. Equal employment, providing minorities with higher education in the field, and implementing zero-tolerance policies on discrimination are some of the concepts correlating with the practice. The outcomes include:

  • The community will see representation in law enforcement
  • Less chance of discrimination during arrests/investigations
  • A decrease in bias among police officers


Hansen, E. (2017). The forgotten minority in police shootings. CNN. Web

Spell, C. S., Bezrukova, Y., Baveja, A., & Mukherjee, S. (2021). Every little bit helps: Does diversity in police departments and communities affect arrest rates? Academy of Management Proceedings, 2021(1), 11437. Web.

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DemoEssays. 2023. "Improving Native Americans Views on Criminal Justice Specialists." January 4, 2023.

1. DemoEssays. "Improving Native Americans Views on Criminal Justice Specialists." January 4, 2023.


DemoEssays. "Improving Native Americans Views on Criminal Justice Specialists." January 4, 2023.