ACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

February 2017

How Going to Jail Changed My Life Path, Part 1 [JJIE.org]

The first time I went to jail, my professor sent me there. Before I could think too much about what I had agreed to do, I piled into a beat-up 12-passenger van with 11 others. I was unsure if my nerves were from my concern that the van wasn’t going to make it the 15 miles across the city or my fear of what awaited me on the other side of the bridge at Rikers Island, New York’s main jail complex. If I’m being honest, it was a bit of both. I peered out the window and watched as my city...

Private Prisons Are Back in Business [PSMag.com]

It was only a matter of time before Attorney General Jeff Sessions backtracked on the Department of Justice’s earlier plans to phase out the use of private prisons. Indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union has been concerned about the former senator’s ties to the private prison lobby since October, when Geo Group—one of the biggest private prison corporations—hired two of Sessions’ former aides, David Stewart and Ryan Robichaux. On Thursday, Sessions issued a memo overturning the one put...

How Going to Jail Changed My Life Path, Part 2 [JJIE.org]

Three years have passed since I first went to jail. I often think back to the bumpy, almost dangerous, ride over the bridge to Rikers Island. My classmates and I would hold onto our belongings and the handles of the van as we swerved to avoid potholes and bumps in the road, crossing from freedom to a caged environment. After the first few trips, I found myself focusing less on the obstacles of the road and more on the emotions bumping around in my head: the usual nerves to face a corrections...

Racial Bias in Criminal Risk Scores Is Mathematically Inevitable [PSMag.com]

The racial bias that ProPublica found in a formula used by courts and parole boards to forecast future criminal behavior arises inevitably from the test’s design, according to new research. The findings were described in scholarly papers published or circulated over the past several months. Taken together, they represent the most far-reaching critique to date of the fairness of algorithms that seek to provide an objective measure of the likelihood a defendant will commit further crimes.

Yoga Behind Bars has offered yoga classes to prisoners for a while. Now it’s teaching inmates at the women’s prison near Gig Harbor how to lead classes themselves. (seattletimes.com)

“The people who know best what tools are needed to serve incarcerated people are those who are incarcerated themselves,” says Program Director Jess Frank. “Not only will it give them incredible tools while they’re incarcerated, it’s also a way for them to have … a part-time job” upon release. But teaching yoga in prisons requires special skills, and “trauma-informed” teaching is a central philosophy of the program. The curriculum for the day I attended included sessions on the impact of...

Making It Right Again (lionsroar.com)

By bringing victims and perpetrators together, she’s helping repair harm and turn lives around. Meet restorative justice expert sujatha baliga. A graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe, baliga completed her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania and became a public defender, but she says the legal system began to feel like it was designed to not get at the truth. She began to look for a path to justice that “excavates from the deepest level who has been harmed, what do they need, and whose...

This Small Token Shows Love to Those Affected by Incarceration (nationswell.com)

These greeting cards give those who don't know what to say the ability to convey compassion. Every Friday, during a weekly book hour at a public middle school in Bergen County, N.J., a little girl picked out the same Scholastic pamphlet about Alcatraz Island. Delores Connors, the class’s reading instructor, couldn’t figure out why. What was so captivating about a defunct federal penitentiary? She teamed up with her colleague Mary Joyce Laqui to ease communication about loved ones who are...

Urban Crime Trends Remain Stable Through California's Policy Reform Era (2010-2016) Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Newly released Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics for the first six months of 2016 show California’s reported urban crime rate remained stable from 2010 through 2016, despite the implementation of large-scale criminal justice reforms during that period. The report finds that: Total urban crime fell 3 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. This decline was driven by a 4 percent reduction in property offenses and a 4 percent increase in reported...

Nevada County therapist helps incarcerated practice mindfulness behind bars [TheUnion.com]

At first glance, jails and prisons may not seem like the best environment for a mindfulness program. The noise level alone can be unsettling, let alone the windowless, cinder block walls. But John Eby turned that notion on its head. Instead, he asked, what better place could there be for a mindfulness class? In 2014, Eby, a psychotherapist who has worked for many years with Nevada County’s incarcerated and mentally ill, introduced an eight-week pilot mindfulness program in the jail at the...

Once a convict himself, he now fights to help former inmates get work (ocregister.com)

In Garden Grove in October, Jason Gomez, 34, was asked to talk about himself. He had been recently released from jail after being convicted of robbery. Gomez sat in a county office meeting with a big shot from the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. At stake was the future of the program that had helped Gomez get a job after jail. It’s called LEAP (Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release), which was established with a $500,000 grant to the Orange County Sheriff’s...

In Sacramento County, Collaborative Program is Creating Hope (publicceo.com)

At the Northern California Construction Training Center in Sacramento County, you can find a number of probationers hard at work learning new crafts. And over the sound of hammers and buzz saws, a four-letter word is frequently heard. That word is H-O-P-E. For many of those taking part in this career training, it’s the first time they’ve had any hope in a long, long time — thanks to a joint program created by the Sacramento County Probation Department, County Office of Education and the...

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