As a trauma psychologist and researcher, I applaud the article in "The New York Times" this morning, on how providing incarcerated mothers the opportunity to interact and play with their children during visits may reduce the trauma of separation. But, as the Senate thinks about bipartisan prison reform, I urge them to take a broader trauma-informed approach. This is necessary for effective correctional management, prisoner health and successful re-entry to our communities, particularly for women.
The fastest growing population in U.S. prisons is women, entering at nearly double the rate of men. Trauma is a key contributor to their entry, duration and re-integration home from the U.S. inmate population.
The vast majority of women in prison have elevated rates of interpersonal victimization, such as physical and sexual abuse. They also have greater exposure to family and community violence compared to women in the general population. Indeed, one study found that incarcerated females experienced on average six types of trauma in their lifetimes, with greater exposure associated with earlier age of trauma onset. In addition, almost a quarter of women report a forced sexual experience while in prison.
[For more on this story by JOAN COOK, go to https://thehill.com/opinion/cr...n-to-wind-up-in-jail]