MPR: Indian defendants struggling in probation system
"Steven Rock says there's nothing his first probation officer could have done. He wasn't going to listen. "She was never hard or anything; she just wanted me to succeed, but I was too hardheaded," Rock said.

Both of Rock's parents grew up on the White Earth reservation. They moved to Minneapolis and Rock grew up on the city's south side.

"Then I see my friends, my cousins, my family members selling narcotics. So I said, 'Man, I'm going to get into that,'" Rock said.

By the age of twenty, Rock was selling drugs and getting into drunken fights. In 2004, he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to probation.

His probation officer put him in a halfway house that doubled as a rehabilitation program for alcoholics. Rock broke curfew. He got drunk. He missed therapy. After three violations, his probation officer sent him to prison.

New numbers show American Indians continue to fare poorly in Minnesota's probation system. About 12,000 people are sentenced to felony probation in Minnesota every year. Six percent are American Indian.

While Indian offenders make up a relatively small part of the Minnesota judicial system, one in five American Indians fail probation and are sent to prison."

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American Indians struggle in Minn. probation system (Minnesota Public Radio 3/18)