Committee Discusses Indian Affairs - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Committee Discusses Indian Affairs

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Senator Heidi Heitkamp and the U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Timothy Purdon took part in a committee meeting today on Indian Affairs. The meeting addressed recent numbers that show high rates of violent crime among native youth, compared to the national averages.

Heitkamp and Purdon discussed how drug abuse plays a factor in the violence, and the return of those who commit crimes to the reservation.

"Because we have a chronic addiction issue, we have recidivism," Heitkamp says. "And that recidivism not only takes a lot of prosecutorial effort, but it continues to add to the despair, and the dismembering, of the community," she says.

"Re-entry is a huge challenge," Purdom says. He added that 95 percent of those prosecuted and sent to federal prison end up coming back to the reservation.

Senator Heitkamp has also helped pass legislation in the past protecting women, including the violence against women act in 2013.

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