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Applying ACEs to Juvenile Justice [ChronicleOfSocialChanges.org]

ElDorado_JuvenileHall_05-300x200The high rate of abused and neglected children within the juvenile justice system was one of the themes percolating throughout a three-day conference on childhood trauma last week in San Francisco.

“The relationship between childhood trauma and juvenile justice involvement is pretty startling,” said Karleen Jakowski, supervisor of adolescent behavioral services at a non-profit health clinic in Yolo County. Jakowski was one of five juvenile justice panelists at the conference calling for improvement in the treatment of traumatized youth.

A Florida study on youthful offenders, which was often cited by the panel, found one in four minors had five or more Adverse Childhood Experiences, better known as ACEs. Not only are the juvenile justice-involved youth more likely to come from abusive, broken homes, the entire panel agreed that going to juvenile hall is in itself an traumatic event for most kids.

The term ACEs refers to the childhood abuse, neglect, and general household dysfunction that negatively affects a child’s development. Ranked on a scale of increasing severity from zero to 10, ACE scores of four or more are correlated with a greater likelihood of serious and long-lasting health and behavioral problems that may persist into adulthood.

 

[For more of this story, written by Brian Rinker, go to https://chronicleofsocialchang...e-justice-youth/8602]

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