Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native American Prisoners
American Indians and Alaskan Natives who constitute the indigenous peoples of North America were colonized by the British, the Russians, and finally by the European Americans. In the process, their societies were devastated by conquest, war, and disease. European American policies of “Christianizing the savage” and “manifest destiny” promoted forced assimilation, the destruction of traditional social structures, the creation of an economic dependency, and an overall marginalization of these indigenous groups within the dominant culture. These days, disproportionate numbers of Native Americans inhabit U.S. penal facilities. On April 1, 2000, there were 2,475,956 American Indians and Alaskan Natives living in the United States, with about 40% of American Indians residing in rural areas. More than half the American Indians and Alaskan Natives live in 10 states, with Oklahoma, California, and Arizona each having populations of more than 200,000 American Indians. An estimated 63,000 American Indians are under the custody, control, ...