This report is intended to offer a description of a trauma-informed juvenile justice diversion approach with examples of how some states are beginning to address and implement trauma-informed systems of care for youth and their families.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been identified as a key risk factor for a range of negative life outcomes, including delinquency. Much less is known about how exposure to negative experiences relates to continued offending among juvenile offenders. In this study, we examine the effect of ACEs on recidivism in a large sample of previously referred youth from the State of Florida who were followed for 1 year after participation in community-based treatment. Results from a series of Cox hazard models suggest that ACEs increase the risk of subsequent arrest, with a higher prevalence of ACEs leading to a shorter time to recidivism. The relationship between ACEs and recidivism held quite well in demographic-specific analyses. Implications for empirical research on the long-term effects of traumatic childhood events and juvenile justice policy are discussed (p. 1210).
The impact of trauma on girls involved in the juvenile justice system is examined. Sections of this fact sheet cover: why there are increasing numbers of girls in the juvenile justice system; prevalence of trauma-exposure among justice-involved girls; prevalence of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) among justice-involved girls; potential consequences of trauma for girls; impact of the juvenile justice system on traumatized girls; and gender-responsive programming. This review suggests that trauma-informed and gender-responsive programming and intervention models are needed in order to address girls’ needs and to prevent retraumatization of girls in the juvenile justice system. Experiences of trauma, maltreatment, and victimization play a role in placing many girls on the pathway toward delinquency. Further, girls who participate in delinquent activities are at risk for retraumatization and the additional long-term consequences associated with polyvictimization (p. 8).
Many types of traumatic experiences occur in the lives of children and adolescents from all walks of life. Often, the after-effects of these experiences – persistent, post-traumatic stress reactions – play a role in the legal and behavioral problems that bring youth in contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system … Using a trauma-informed approach, juvenile justice systems can improve outcomes for justice-involved youth by: Better matching youth with trauma services that can reduce the impact of traumatic stress; Improving general conditions of confinement; [and] Preventing the harmful and inadvertent “re-traumatization” of youth." Sections cover: what psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are, and how these affect youth and families; survival mode in youth with PTSD; why youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system are especially at risk for problems with traumatic stress; what constitutes trauma-informed services within juvenile justice systems—universal screening, assessment, and trauma treatment interventions; what also contributes to a trauma-informed perspective—creating trauma-informed environments, and collaborating across systems; what the benefits and challenges of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system are; guidance from the field for youth and families, juvenile justice systems, and examples of programs; and additional resources.
“Reducing the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems and addressing the behavioral health needs of people involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.”
"This bibliography attempts to offer a compilation of information on trauma-informed care by reviewing general information about trauma as well as focusing on the criminal justice system and corrections (women, adults, and younger people), peer support, and screening/assessment for trauma. In addition, definitions of many of these tools are provided" (p. 3). Eighty-four resources are organized into the following areas: trauma-informed care in general; trauma-informed care in the criminal justice system and in corrections; trauma-informed care for youth in the criminal justice system; peer-to-peer trauma-informed care; trauma; gender neutral screenings and assessments; and trauma and/or gender informed screenings and assessments.
"Recent evidence suggests that older adults in prison experience a high level of adverse life experiences that can be categorized as trauma, stress, grief and loss. However, there is a dearth of research that examines how older adults’ use of physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual coping resources influence their physical and mental well-being" (p. 1). This study aims to address this scarcity. Sections cover: the aging prison population crisis; demographics; cost of incarceration—financial and moral; pathways to prison; explanatory perspective and theories; a review of the relevant literature; coping and wellbeing; study objectives; method; data analysis; results according to history of traumatic and stress life experiences, socio-demographic profile, and frequencies and percentages of the occurrence of traumatic experiences, age of first occurrence, and subjective response at the time and now; path analysis; discussion; policy implications; limitations of the current study; future research directions; and conclusion. It appears that "the lifetime experiences of multiple types of trauma, stress, grief, separation, and loss are common among older adults in prison and place them at risk for later-life physical and mental decline. Multidimensional coping strategies that address physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual domains are promising intervention techniques that can improve wellbeing among older adults in prison" (p. 1).
“In the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that addressing trauma requires a multi-agency, multi-pronged approach. Public education, prevention, early identification, and effective trauma assessment and treatment are all necessary to break the cycle of trauma and violence. Significant progress has been made in creating organizational cultures based on knowledge of trauma and its impact (“trauma-informed approaches”), strategies to prevent or reduce rates of violence and trauma, and effective treatment interventions (“trauma-specific treatments”). Trauma-informed approaches are particularly suited to collaborative strategies because they transcend traditional organizational boundaries and professional roles, providing a common framework for working together. This document reflects how the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma’s efforts to promote, adopt, and implement trauma-informed approaches have enhanced the effectiveness of a wide range of government services and supports. It also demonstrates the impact of the Committee’s coordinated cross-agency efforts” (p. 7-8). The twenty-four U.S. federal groups are from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Education (ED), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Peace Corps, and the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
"This brief addresses the need for a comprehensive approach to trauma intervention across service settings. In doing so, we define these complementary approaches, identify core principles and current practice for each, and discuss how both are being integrated across service sectors. Finally, we identify next steps for providers, researchers, and policymakers to ensure that all service systems are prepared to sustain this comprehensive approach to trauma intervention" (p. 1) "“Trauma-specific services” and “trauma-informed care” are sometimes used interchangeably; both provide care for people exposed to traumatic stress. However, trauma-specific services are clinical interventions, whereas trauma-informed care addresses organizational culture and practice. Trauma-specific services are clinical interventions that are designed to address trauma-related symptoms and PTSD directly in individuals and groups. In contrast, trauma-informed care is defined as a universal framework that requires changes to the practices, policies, and culture of an entire organization, so all staff have the awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to support trauma survivors" (p. 4). Sections of this publication include: introduction; prevalence and impact of traumatic stress; trauma-specific vs. trauma-informed; trauma-informed care and trauma-specific services—why both are needed; trauma intervention across service systems; next steps for the field; and conclusion.
“This webinar provides an overview of evidence-based and efficient methods of screening and assessment to identify youth in need of trauma-informed services or trauma-specific treatment in juvenile diversion programs. Evidence-based or evidence-informed trauma-specific treatments to which youth diverted from the juvenile justice system can be referred are discussed.”