A Place for Change: A Discussion on the Yakama Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility

Past Event
January 26, 2022, 2:00- 3:00pm , Eastern

Hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, Western Community Policing Institute and Tribal Public Safety Innovations

This fieldwide virtual discussion is geared toward any justice or behavioral health practitioner who is interested in learning about culturally sensitive corrections practices in tribal communities and will feature a presentation from Vernon Alvarez, the former chief of corrections for the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation. He will discuss a tribal decision to create a new adult and juvenile facility that recognizes and utilizes the tribe’s spiritual, cultural, and traditional beliefs and concepts in a rehabilitative approach to working with clients while they serve time. Chief Alvarez will talk about the ideas that led to the decision to seek funding and commitment to the construction of the facility. He will share the challenges they faced during planning, construction, and operations and how they overcame them. He will also speak about several cultural, spiritual, health, and educational programs that were created by tribal members and implemented as part of the operational plan.


  • David Rogers, CEO, Tribal Public Safety Innovations (Presenter)
  • Vernon Alvarez, Chief of Police, Klamath Tribes of Oregon (Former Chief of Corrections, Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation), (Presenter)
  • David Rogers, Program Manager, Western Community Policing Institute (Presenter)
  • Julia Kessler, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center, (Facilitator)
  • Rosemary White Shield, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center (Facilitator)

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