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.

Activity

Healing and Justice Toolkit (Dignity and Power Now)

We have learned so much from our anchor organization Dignity And Power Now , a “Los Angeles based grassroots organization founded in 2012 that fights for the dignity and power of all incarcerated people, their families, and communities” and are so thrilled to have been able to collaborate on a Healing Justice Toolkit with DPN. The guide was written by DPN, edited by Thandisizwe Chimurenga, translated into Spanish by delia ayala, and designed by Design Action Collective . Here is an excerpt...

Teaching in America’s Prisons Has Taught Me to Believe in Second Chances [jjie.org]

In 2007, I gave someone a second chance. I was in Danbury (Conn.) Federal Correctional Institution recruiting women for a new program for people returning from prison that I was running in New York City. A woman approached me and handed me her portfolio. It was basically a detailed resume of her accomplishments, skills and goals for the future. Over a two-year period before this, I had visited at least six female facilities in New York and Connecticut and met hundreds of women looking to...

Virginia Suburb Shows That Diversion, Victim-centered Agreements Work [jjie.org]

Over the last several years, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDRDC) of Fairfax County, Va., has been working on transformative efforts around juvenile justice in an effort to keep low-risk youth from entering the system and address disparities for youth of color. One large area targeted by these efforts was the diversion programming and Juvenile Intake Office. In Virginia, intake officers are decision-makers. It is their responsibility to review charges from petitioners...

More than eight in 10 men in prison suffered childhood adversity – new report [phys.org]

Male prisoners are much more likely than men in the wider population to have suffered childhood adversities such as child maltreatment or living in a home with domestic violence, according to a new report by Public Health Wales and Bangor University. The findings suggests that preventative action and early intervention to tackle Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) could prevent crime and reduce costs for the criminal justice system . In this new survey of men in Her Majesty's (HM) Prison...

Criminal Diversion offers treatment instead of jail time in San Diego (sdnews.com)

As part of their ongoing effort to get low-level drug offenders off the streets and into treatment, City Attorney Mara W. Elliott and San Diego Police Chief Nisleit have teamed to launch Prosecution and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Services (PLEADS). PLEADS is a voluntary, pre-booking diversion pathway that allows individuals suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance to avoid prosecution and jailtime by agreeing to seek support services. The Neighborhood Policing...

Overdoses in California prisons up 113% in three years — nearly 1,000 incidents in 2018 (sfchronicle.com)

Nearly 1,000 men and women in California prisons overdosed last year and required emergency medical attention in what officials acknowledge is part of an alarming spike in opioid use by those behind bars, according to records obtained by The Chronicle. The number of inmates treated for drug or alcohol overdoses jumped from 469 to 997 from 2015 to 2018 — a 113% increase. While many of the prisoners survived, the most recent data available show drug-related inmate deaths are on the rise, too —...

Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind [nytimes.com]

There’s an anecdote that Ruth Wilson Gilmore likes to share about being at an environmental-justice conference in Fresno in 2003. People from all over California’s Central Valley had gathered to talk about the serious environmental hazards their communities faced, mostly as a result of decades of industrial farming, conditions that still have not changed. (The air quality in the Central Valley is the worst in the nation, and one million of its residents drink tap water more poisoned than the...

Rise Up Helps Former Inmates Make Transition to New Life (eastcountymagazine.org)

A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses. At Rise Up Industries ( www.riseupindustries.org ) change doesn’t come quickly and the numbers of those enrolled or completing the program may not initially impress. But for the four graduates of the 18- month program, it’s been a godsend. In addition to extensive classroom and on-the-job training...

Growth through Trauma-Informed Strategies: Coaching and Consultation with Rick Griffin

There is a Chinese proverb that states, “If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people." The benefits are evident, yet the real question becomes, “how do you grow people?” This Big Idea Session, CRI’s Trauma Coaching and Trauma Consultation Training, answers this question. Schools, organizations, and parents are discovering that the traditional “command and control” style of working with...

James Fox and the Prison Yoga Project (dailygood.org)

James Fox M.A. is the founder and director of the Prison Yoga Project , (PYP), an organization dedicated to establishing yoga and mindfulness programs in prisons and rehabilitation centers worldwide. Since 2002, Fox has been teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners at San Quentin Prison as well as other California State prisons. The Prison Yoga Project helps incarcerated men and women build a better life through trauma-informed yoga with a focus on mindfulness . It helps prisoners make...

Reply by Treston Kingsbury

Hi Ed, First of all, you are amazing for sharing your story. I currently work in the prison system with adults about to be released, and...
Treston Kingsbury

All too often, California’s default mental institutions are now jails and prisons (calmatters.org)

Perhaps nowhere is California’s mental health crisis more evident than in its criminal justice system. After decades of failure to create and fund policies that effectively help people with serious mental illnesses, many now say the jails and prisons have become the state’s default mental institutions. Close to a third of California’s inmates have a documented serious mental illness, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. A few decades ago, fewer than half...

Restoring Prisoners' Access to Education Reduces Recidivism [psmag.com]

As of early April, imprisoned Americans stand to gain easier access to a higher education. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Representatives Danny Davis (D-Illinois), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), and French Hill (R-Arkansas) introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation to restore Pell Grant access to the incarcerated. If the bill passes, 463,000 prisoners will become eligible for federal financial support toward earning a college degree, which experts argue could go a...

Trauma Informed Services to End Mass Incarceration [ACLU N CA]

Sammy A. Nuñez was born into deep poverty in an abusive household. One of his earliest memories includes waking up to his mother’s blood dripping on his face as his step father beat her. This life of fear, anxiety, and trauma would form a child full of anger who would go on to replicate the violence that he had witnessed at home. The education system failed to step in and counsel a child in pain , and instead Sammy was pushed out from school and further down the road toward incarceration.

‘Survivor strong’: Resilience follows trauma [Recordnet.com]

STOCKTON — Life goes on and you can have a positive impact on the world after a traumatic loss. That’s the message many survivors and family members of violent crime victims shared Monday at the Stockton waterfront as they walked or ran a 5-kilometer course to remember a loved one lost to homicide. Roshan Campos never misses the opportunity to support victims and family members. The mother of Carlitha Villalobos, who was 19 when she was shot to death with two other young people in north...

Healing A Mother’s Pain By Forgiving A Killer (kpbs.org)

At 1:30 in the morning in May of 2012, Bevelynn Bravo was woken by a knock on the door. Two detectives had come to tell her that her son was dead. Her 21-year-old son, Jaime Bravo Jr., was stabbed and left to die as he walked out of friend’s house in City Heights. As a volunteer first responder for the San Diego Compassion Project since 2010, Bravo had become accustomed to dealing with tragedy at a crime scene. She offered emotional and administrative support to the families of homicide...

Birthdays behind bars: An essay by an inmate [Street Roots News]

Everybody celebrates in a different way Enrique Bautista is an incarcerated person at Snake River Correctional Institution in Eastern Oregon. He is a periodic contributor to Street Roots. Dec. 22. It is the day after my birthday. I am now 35 years old. I am a 35-year-old man. Wow! It feels like only yesterday I was just another 18-year-old kid with a chip on his shoulder coming into the system. With 20-something years to serve, mad at the world, full of hate and frustration. Everything was...

The prison that gives inmates the KEYS to their cells: 'Knock-first' policy is aimed at creating a 'respectful' environment for offenders [Daily Mail]

Inmates at Britain’s first ‘respectful’ jail have been given the keys to their cells – with prison officers having to knock before entering. Wrexham’s HMP Berwyn, the largest prison in England and Wales, says the move is a ‘rehabilitative’ approach to offenders. Prisoners have been given more privacy, with the ability to come and go from their cells as they please – as well as being able to lock themselves in at any time. The ‘knock first’ policy is aimed at creating a respectful environment...

Pregnant Behind Bars: What We Do And Don't Know About Pregnancy And Incarceration [NPR]

There are 111,616 incarcerated women in the United States, a 7-fold increase since 1980. Some of these women are pregnant, but amid reports of women giving birth in their cells or shackled to hospital beds , prison and public health officials have no hard data on how many incarcerated women are pregnant, or on the outcomes of those pregnancies. A study published in The American Journal of Public Health Thursday changes that. The study included 57 percent of the US prison population (New...

Study: About 4 Percent of Women Are Pregnant When Jailed (nytimes.com)

About 4 percent of women incarcerated in state prisons across the U.S. were pregnant when they were jailed, according to a new study released Thursday that researchers hope will help lawmakers and prisons better consider the health of women behind bars. The number of imprisoned women has risen dramatically over the past decades, growing even as the overall prison rates decline. But there had been a lack of data on women's health and no system for tracking how frequently incarcerated women...

This Nun Found a Way to Save Prisoners' Lives - All by Spelling 'God" Backwards (nationswell.com)

Sister Pauline Quinn says it was a German shepherd who saved her life. After running away from an abusive home and being shuffled between different institutions throughout her adolescence, Quinn was released onto the streets at age 18. Quinn would visit dogs in kennels as a way to cope with her mistreatment. When she eventually adopted a German shepherd named Joni, everything began to turn around. With the confidence Joni gave her, Quinn started thinking about how she could use dogs to help...

Credible Messengers Help Turn Former Convicts into Leaders (nationswell.com)

The key to this program is an initiative called the credible messenger approach to restorative justice. It pairs at-risk and justice-involved youth, who are individuals who’ve been involved with the criminal system, with people who have had comparable life experiences, such as ex-convicts or ex-gang members. “When you think of a credible messenger, you think of those closest to the problem are closest to the solution,” says Jason Clark, the program manager at King County Credible Messengers...

Rebuilding Lives while Building Homes: Tony McGuire's Resilience-Building Carpentry Class

Tony McGuire is a great carpenter. He ran his own construction business for years. Then he wanted to get into teaching. He became a Tenured Faculty member at a local community college, and landed in the state penitentiary as a Basic Skills Carpentry instructor. So how could that be connected to saving lives with a 20 buck investment? Tony got touched by CRI’s trauma-informed training. He saw himself past and present and knew somehow that, “with this information comes the responsibility to...

Programs Help Incarcerated Moms Bond With Their Babies In Prison

In Daidre Kimp's room, the walls are pink and white and there are family photos on a bulletin board. A stroller sits in a corner. It's early morning. Kimp grabs a diaper, a tiny shirt and pants and lifts her smiley, 8-month-old daughter, Stella, from her crib. They are getting ready for the day at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) in Gig Harbor, about a one hour drive from Seattle. It's their home, at least until Kimp enters a work-release program next spring. She picks up...

Without access to credit, ex-cons may return to lives of crime [thehill.com]

Every week, more than 10,000 prisoners are released from U.S. prisons and begin the long process of reintegrating into society. For many, a successful reintegration will occur only if they can access the types of credit commonly used by all American citizens, such as credit cards and auto loans. For those unable to borrow, prospects for successful re-entry fall and recidivism risks rise. That’s bad for all of us. Lack of access to credit can push former inmates into poverty traps and cycles...

Conference Updates for Beyond Paper Tigers 2019!

CRI is Proud to Present the 2019 Beyond Paper Tigers Conference Session Descriptions and Presenter Biographies! Join us for the latest information, and strategies to build RESILIENCE! CRI is honored to have expert presenters in their fields to showcase a diverse selection of sessions revolving around the BPT Conference theme, "Building Resilience Across the Life Span." Conference Session Descriptions and Presenter Biographies are now available for review! If you have not purchased conference...

Sponsorship Opportunity to Help Community Resilience Initiative

CRI is seeking various levels of sponsors for our Fourth Annual Beyond Paper Tigers conference. We would love if you would consider partnering with us to assist our community's education, best practices, and treatment strategies. Sponsorships will help pay for speakers, meals, supplies, and conference activities. To partner with us at our highest gift level- as a lead sponsor- would bring profound impact to our conference. We would be grateful for the honor of calling you our lead sponsor,...

CRI Course 1: Trauma-Informed Training Webcast!

CRI Course 1: Trauma-Informed Training Webcast! Date: February 26, 2019 Time: 8am - 3pm Pacific Time A dynamic six-hour WEBCAST course, Course 1 introduces CRI’s capacity-building framework for building resilience, KISS. Knowledge, Insight, Strategies and Structure describes our community’s learning and movement from theory to practice and how to implement evidence-based strategies into action. The training includes three groups of topics: the NEAR sciences , a cluster of emerging scientific...

The case for capping all prison sentences at 20 years [vox.com]

America puts more people in jail and prison than any other country in the world. Although the country has managed to slightly reduce its prison population in recent years, mass incarceration remains a fact of the US criminal justice system. It’s time for a radical idea that could really begin to reverse mass incarceration: capping all prison sentences at no more than 20 years. It may sound like an extreme, even dangerous, proposal, but there’s good reason to believe it would help reduce the...

Florida Is One of the Most Overincarcerated Places in U.S. Is It Likely to Change? [jjie.org]

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Randy Ratledge doesn’t get out much. Since he was arrested in 2012, Ratledge, 61, has a fear of the police. He doesn’t like leaving his home, and definitely doesn’t like coming downtown, where he was locked up for 117 days. He faced 120 years in prison, and under the state’s minimum mandatory laws, a judge would have had no choice but to impose that sentence if he’d been convicted. [For more on this story by Larry Hannan, go to...

California Ramps Up College Education Behind Bars (capitalandmain.com)

Prisons have been called universities of crime. What if they became, instead, actual universities? There is plenty of evidence to support bringing higher education classes into prisons. Nearly all inmates will eventually be released, and a comprehensive 2013 RAND Corporation study found that inmates who participated in educational programs lowered their chances of recidivating by 43 percent. The RAND study also found that each dollar invested in correctional education returns between four...

Staying Connected: Moms Who Pump in Prison (nextcity.org)

An innovative lactation program encourages incarcerated new moms to maintain their breast milk supply, reinforcing maternal bonds and providing health benefits to their newborns. Jackson is one of six mothers at Riverside who are currently participating in the lactation program, one of the first of its kind inside an American jail. Women who give birth just before or during their time here are given access to breastfeeding education and the facilities of the lactation room, plus additional...

The Importance of Connection | Alissa R. Ackerman | TEDxCSULB (www.YouTube.com) & Commentary

Cissy's note: The TedTalk below is given by one of my good friends, Alissa. When she first told me about the restorative justice work she was doing with Dr. Jill Levenson, speaking with convicted of sexual offending, where she shared about her experiences as a survivor of sexual assault, (aka, without her "professional shield," as she says), I was concerned. Was it safe, wise, and helpful? What would the impact be on her? Part of me felt that it's not the place of survivors to help...

2019 Beyond Paper Tigers Conference Series - Why Take Course One and Course Two?

Community Resilience Initiative is officially launching a new series of blog posts, building to our 2019 Beyond Paper Tigers conference on June 25th - 27th. We’ll cover a range of topics relevant to conference material, events, and inspirations. In addition to the regular conference, CRI is offering two training add-on options on Tuesday June 25, 2019 prior to the conference: Resilience-Based Trainings, Course One and Two . https://criresilient.org/beyon...re-conference-event/ “A group of...

In California, Criminal Justice Reform Offers a Lesson for the Nation [nytimes.com]

LOS ANGELES — A police officer is shot dead in Whittier by a gang member . A mentally ill homeless man walks into a steakhouse in Ventura and stabs a man to death in front of his family. In Bakersfield, a man angry over his divorce goes on a shooting rampage , killing his ex-wife and four others. In the aftermath of these high-profile killings, some police officers, district attorneys and politicians were quick to use them as examples to show that criminal justice reform had let dangerous...

Bryan Stevenson Wants the U.S. to Face Its History [nytimes.com]

Last month, Congress passed the First Step Act, a prison-reform bill intended to reduce recidivism. Do you think this bill will actually change the realities of mass incarceration? It’s important but insufficient, in terms of the actual number of people in jails and prisons. We’ve gone from 300,000 people in jails and prisons in the 1970s to 2.2 million people today. We have to radically reorient ourselves and start talking about rehabilitation, restoration and how we end crime. And if we do...

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