Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

News Release Listing
Contact: Ryan Pinto 360-902-0821, ryan.pinto@dshs.wa.gov
April 10, 2013
Colville Confederated Tribes Project Receives Federal Title II Funds to Address Juvenile Justice Diversion and Behavioral Health Services to Minority Youth

Olympia: In Washington, minority youth (e.g., African-American, Native American/Alaskan Native, Latino/Hispanic and recent immigrant populations) come into contact with the juvenile justice system at a higher rate in comparison to white youth. In addition, research shows that youth of color may have undiagnosed and/or unmet behavioral health concerns. The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ) supports reform efforts that offer pre-filing and/or pre-formal court processing diversion programs that address both disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and Behavioral Health for minority youth. This encompasses programs and strategies designed to divert youth from initial contact with the juvenile justice system at the school, law enforcement and/or prosecutorial level. The WA-PCJJ is specifically interested in innovative community-based alternatives to formal court processing and effective strategies to address behavioral concerns that may be related to the reported misconduct.

The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice has selected one program to receive Federal Title II funding to address minority youth diversion and behavioral health services:

  • Colville Confederated Tribes 

            "Colville Tribal Youth Diversion Program: Culturally-Enhanced

                        Motivational Interviewing for Behavior Change"

            Nespelem, WA 99155

            Award Amount: $137,071

            Contact Person: Karee Picard, 509-634-2469


This project will leverage existing partnerships with schools in Okanogan County, tribal court, law enforcement, health service agencies and the Colville tribal health coalition to offer at-risk and high-risk American Indian youth residing on the Colville Indian Reservation: 1) behavioral health and substance abuse screening and services to youth with truancy or other offenses or who are involved in school disciplinary action; 2) culturally-tailored alternatives to court hearings through the Colville Youth Peacemaker Circle; 3) a culturally-responsive, school-based mentoring program for youth; and 4) evidenced based motivational interviewing intervention to youth.

John Sirois, Chairman of the Colville Business Council states: "the Colville Tribes greatly appreciate the support given to provide a more comprehensive and culturally appropriate service to our at-risk-youth to return them to the better paths of our people. This program will bring the opportunity for our communities, not just the parents, to support our youth as has been a teaching of our elders for time immemorial"

DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.