Date of Award

May 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Leah M. Rouse Arndt

Committee Members

Shannon Chavez-Korell, Marty Sapp


American Indian, Incarceration, Juvenile Offender, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Trauma


American Indian (AI) youth experience incarceration (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011; Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, 1997-2010) and sexual abuse (Bachman, Zaykowski, Lanier, Poteyeva, & Kallmyer, 2010; Ellison, 2005; Hamby, 2008; Robin, 1997) at disparate rates in the United States. The present qualitative project utilized Extended Case Method to explore the service and re-entry needs of AI girls who are juvenile offenders and have been impacted by sexual abuse. This project includes secondary data detailing 58 cases of detained AI girls at a state-run female juvenile detention facility in the Midwest. Results indicated 26 of the 58 (45%) AI girls reported sexual abuse and 47 of the 58 (81%) girls reported involvement in `consensual' sex before the age of 18. Findings revealed a need for comprehensive data collection procedures within correctional facilities as well as a need for trauma-informed prevention, intervention, and post-vention services. Specific service needs included culturally congruent care including advocacy around tribal enrollment and eligibility, psychoeducation around consent for sexual activity and gynecological health, trauma-informed physical health services including gynecological care, and trauma-informed mental health assessment and programming.