Reentry Programming in Indian Country: Building the Third Leg of the Stool

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As a young lawyer, long before I became U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota, I served as a member of the North Dakota federal court’s Criminal Justice Act panel and provided indigent defense services to American Indian defendants charged with committing federal crimes on the reservations in North Dakota. One of those clients was a man named Gary from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Gary was charged with a federal firearm crime, pled guilty, and received a substantial prison sentence. Some years later, I encountered Gary again while visiting another client who was being held pre trial at the North Dakota Department of Corrections, Centre, Inc., the residential reentry facility in Bismarck, North Dakota. Gary was on his way out of the Bureau of Prisons system, in the process of serving the last six months of his sentence on inmate status at Centre.

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