Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in jails and prisons. Mountain West holistic practitioners want to integrate culture to reduce recidivism rates. A virtual conference aims to educate those working in criminal justice and behavioral health on how to effectively incorporate culture into treatment options.
Phyllis Spears is Cherokee and has been a nurse for 40 years. She now works in acupuncture. She wants to help educate detention centers on how best to deal with repeat offenders.
“This conference, I hope, will help them consider a different way of doing things than how it’s been done in the past,” Spears said while explaining the importance of holistic medicines.
Chuck Pyle organized the conference and served as a US Magistrate Judge in Arizona. He said there will be native speakers from different parts of the criminal justice system.
“We’re going to have traditional dancers talking about some of the challenges they’ve faced in their lives that reconnected them with their ancestors and helped them get back on track,” he said.
The free virtual conference will take place May 17-18 and will be available online.