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Message to the Younger Brother: Native American Men in Prison Speak Out (Video)

NCJ Number
Ann Finley
Date Published
0 pages
This video portrays Native-American inmates at the Idaho State Penitentiary offering "A Message to the Younger Brother" who may be watching the video.
The inmates have participated in a substance abuse treatment program at the prison called "Medicine Wheel and the Twelve Steps," and they have consented to be videoed as they sit in a circle taking turns in offering advice to troubled brothers for whom this video is intended. An eagle wing is passed around the circle, and upon receipt of the wing, an inmate may or may not choose to offer a comment intended to help a younger brother. The program as a whole is intended to draw Native-Americans with substance abuse problems into an experience of solidarity with Native-American culture and spiritual values. Although the 12-step format of the treatment program is similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous, the "Medicine Wheel" concept draws upon the healing power of Native-American beliefs regarding the guidance of their elders and bonding with fellow tribe members for the good of their families and community. The video concludes with a few members of the group singing a song composed specially for the video, accompanied by the steady beat of a Native-American drum.