Native or Indigenous persons are overrepresented in justice system involvement. For example, Indigenous persons are disproportionately overrepresented at each stage of the system process, including arrest and incarceration, whether juvenile or adult. Despite progress in reducing the total number of incarcerated populations, the overrepresentation of Native and Indigenous persons in the system, particularly when compared to white persons, remains resilient. How can these disparities for Native persons be addressed?
To answer this and other questions, we asked William Thorne, retired Utah Court of Appeals Judge and a member of the Pomo/Coast Miwok Tribe, to respond. Judge Thorne is a member of the WestEd Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. In 2016, Judge Thorne was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Center for State Courts. You can learn more about his reputation and years of service from an article marking his retirement from the courts.