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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.

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Mental Health Needs of Law Enforcement: Being Proactive in a Reactive Career

How Do You Help Police Officers Address Trauma? Officer mental health is an often overlooked component of safety and wellness. Good mental health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), between 7 to 19 percent of police officers have symptoms of PTSD and 1 in 4 police officers have thoughts of suicide at some point in...

CA Passes Bill Allowing Former Inmates To Become Firefighters (Patch)

By Kat Schuster, September 1, 2020, Patch. Nonviolent former prisoners who participated in fire camps will now have an opportunity to become year-round, full-time firefighters. SACRAMENTO, CA — Lawmakers approved a bill Monday that will finally allow former prisoners to pursue a career in fire. The new legislation arrived while fire crews were overwhelmed, facing multiple devastating lightning complex fires across California. AB 2147 , authored by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes, will allow...

HEALING TRAUMA: HARPUR ALUM, INTERNS WORK TO STOP THE PIPELINE BETWEEN PRISON AND SCHOOL (binghamton.edu)

By Jennifer Micale, August 12, 2020, Binghamton.edu. Education should lead to opportunity: a proud walk down the aisle during graduation, followed by a job, college or specialized training, and then a rewarding career. But for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, school can too often present a narrowing set of options. Problems at home or in their neighborhood can spark behavioral issues in the classroom, and a punitive response by the school can lead to long-term suspension or...

Kindness in court: a novel approach [royalgazette.com]

By Victoria Greening, The Royal Gazette, August 14, 2020 I would like to consider a counterintuitive method of achieving crime reduction and disruption to the cycle of offending behaviour in Bermuda. This is as a follow-up to recent concerns raised in The Royal Gazette between August 4 and 7 when the lack of resources available to vulnerable and mentally unwell members of the community who end up caught up in the criminal justice system was addressed. There has been a recent upsurge in...

Police Reform Should Include Implementing ACEs Science

When I first learned about ACEs science, I was working for the local police department as the Director of a crime prevention program. This program was aimed at reducing drug related and violent crime by strengthening community partnerships. Our efforts yielded 19 crime prevention programs implemented by 35 community agencies. Together we reduced crime by 40% in one neighborhood, and pioneered a first probation program of its kind in Tennessee to reduce recidivism. At the end of the grant in...

A year without visits: COVID-19’s impact on children with incarcerated parents (North Carolina Health News)

By Hannah Critchfield, July 16, 2020, NC Health News. Correctional facilities throughout the state have shut down in-person visitations to help quell the spread of COVID-19, creating one more roadblock for kids trying to navigate the criminal justice system to stay connected with a parent. In any other year, on Father’s Day, 11-year-old Marley Bennett and her grandmother would pack up their pre-made lunches and drive to Orange Correctional Center for a visit with Marley’s father. They’d sit...

Newsom to release 8,000 prisoners in California by August amid coronavirus outbreaks [sfchronicle.com]

By Jason Fagone, Megan Cassidy, and Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom will release approximately 8,000 people incarcerated inside California’s prison system by August, in a move that comes amid devastating coronavirus outbreaks at several facilities and pressure from lawmakers and advocates. The releases, which were announced just before noon Friday, will come on a rolling basis, and they’ll include both people who were scheduled to be freed soon as well...

California reaches milestone with ACEs initiatives pulsing in all 58 counties. Next: All CA cities.

Karen Clemmer, the Northwest community facilitator with ACEs Connection, was already deeply interested in the CDC/Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study when she and a colleague from the Child Parent Institute were invited to lunch by ACEs Connection founder and publisher Jane Stevens in 2012. But that lunch meeting changed everything. Karen Clemmer “Jane helped us see a bigger world,” says Clemmer. “She came with a much wider lens. She didn’t look only at Sonoma County, she...

Virginia inmates start Black Lives Matter chapter (Virginia Times Dispatch)

By Frank Green, July 16, 2020, Virginia Times Dispatch. Courtney Henson knows the spot outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis where George Floyd's life ended under the knee of a police officer on May 25. Three decades ago Henson, then a teenager and now a resident of Virginia's River North Correctional Center, lived with his mother across the street from the store where Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill prompting a call to the police. [ Please click here to read more. ]

New episode of Transforming Trauma! Compassion Prison Project: Bringing Trauma-informed Care into the Prison System with Fritzi Horstman

Transforming Trauma Episode 017: Compassion Prison Project: Bringing Trauma-informed Care into the Prison System with Fritzi Horstman In this episode of Transforming Trauma, our host Sarah Buino is joined by Fritzi Horstman, Founder and Executive Director of the Compassion Prison Project . Through her work, Fritzi aims to bring trauma-informed care to a population in high need of trauma healing and not likely to receive it: men and women in prison. Sarah and Fritzi discuss Adverse Childhood...

Barton: Address childhood trauma for criminal justice reform (The Times)

By Kevin Barton, July 1, 2020, The Times. 'By the time a crime is committed and a victim is harmed, the root causes of that crime may have occurred long ago.' It is impossible to work within our American criminal justice system and witness the events over the past several months without asking whether there is a better way of doing things. The disparities that we see throughout society in areas such as education, housing and healthcare are even more apparent when viewed through the lens of...

Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails

The Stepping Up initiative recently celebrated 500 counties joining the national movement to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Four years ago, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center , the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APA Foundation) launche d Stepping Up in response to a public health crisis: the disproportionate number of people in jail who have mental illnesses. The human toll of this...

California jail population plummets during the pandemic. Could this lead to long-term change? [sacbee.com]

By Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, May 27, 2020 California’s long history of altering its criminal justice system — from requiring life in prison for third-strike offenders to reducing the punishment for hundreds of crimes — is having another moment that could dramatically alter how the state locks people up. In a seismic, almost overnight shift, California has jailed 21,700 fewer people — nearly one-third of its daily population — in county lockups since the new coronavirus hit the state.

Proposition 47 and Racial Disparities in California [ppic.org]

From Public Policy Institute of California, June 16, 2020 About the Program While the COVID-19 pandemic has required changes to law enforcement and correctional policies, widespread protests over the police-involved deaths of African Americans have intensified concern about racial and ethnic disparities in our criminal justice system. In recent years, California has implemented significant reforms that, while not motivated by racial disparities, are narrowing them. PPIC researcher Brandon...

Mass Decarceration, COVID-19, and Justice in America [ssir.org]

(Free to be collage by Ekua Holmes/www.ekuaholmes.com) By Deanna Van Buren & F. Javier Torres-Campos, Stanford Social Innovation Review, June 9, 2020 With the highest incarceration rate in the world, US prisons and jails are drivers for the catastrophic outbreak of COVID-19. Because of dense living conditions, limited soap and hand sanitizer, poor access to quality healthcare, and an increasingly elderly population, the outbreaks we’ve seen so far may be just the beginning. It’s no...

ACEs Connection launches Cooperative of Communities

The ACEs Connection Cooperative of Communities launches today. We want to continue to contribute to the ACEs movement for as long as it takes to create a worldwide healing-centered culture based on ACEs science. We want that to take hold in this world in the same way electricity has — we only notice it if it isn’t there. First, a clarification: Nothing on ACEsConnection.com changes! Membership remains free! Everything our current 300+ communities use stays free, and remains free for new ones.

Of interest: Spend June 5 with members of the new National Academies report: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

Of interest: Spend June 5 with members of the new National Academies report: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth Announcement in ACES Connection calendar : June 5 Calendar Announcement https://www.acesconnection.com/event/realizing-opportunity-for-all-youth-discussion-the-new-national-academies-report or at Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia (ILPPP) https://ilppp.virginia.edu/OREM/JuvenilePrograms/Course/144 Working with the National Academies of Sciences,...

The Mental Toll On Us All (yesmagazine.org)

As the coronavirus upends lives, another public health crisis arises. New research shows eight times more people are under serious mental distress now When the novel coronavirus roared into the U.S., mental health took a back seat to physical health. The number one priority was making sure hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed and that as many lives as possible could be saved. Schools closed, remote work became the norm, restaurants shuttered and getting together with friends was no longer...

"How to talk policy and influence people": a Law and Justice interview with Fritzi Horstman

In this "How to talk policy and influence people" interview with Fritzi Horstman, founder and CEO of the Compassion Prison Project (see http://compassionprisonproject.org/), we discuss childhood trauma, the significance of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) science, offending behaviour, addiction, violence and the fact that the men and women who end up in prisons are often among the most traumatized members of any society. We talk about the power of the "Step Inside the Circle"...

Will the Coronavirus Make Us Rethink Mass Incarceration? (newyorker.com)

For decades, community groups have pointed out the social costs of mass incarceration: its failure to address the root causes of addiction and violence; its steep fiscal price tag; its deepening of racial inequalities. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed another danger of the system: its public-health risks. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union worked with epidemiologists and statisticians to show that, without protective measures in jails and prisons, including rapid reductions in...

Lifelines: How Yoga is Helping Women at N.H. State Prison Manage Trauma During COVID-19 [nhpr.org]

By ALEX MCOWEN & PETER BIELLO • MAY 7, 2020, NHPR.org Because of COVID-19, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections suspended all visits and volunteer services at the state’s prisons on March 16, more than 7 weeks ago. Nicole Belonga has been serving time at the New Hampshire State Prison for women in Concord for 11 years. She says these efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have cut off almost all contact with the outside world, making stressful prison life even more so.

Serving Your Community: Pivoting a Social Enterprise to Meet Community Needs (aspeninstitute.org)

How can you tackle recidivism and serve your community at the same time? Civil Society Fellow Matthew Fieldman and the team at EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute is leading the way. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, EDWINS is ensuring their work bettering the futures of previously incarcerated individuals would not end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead pivoted their model to meet the needs of their community. We spoke with Matt about the EDWINS model, what it took to pivot, and...

Detained during a pandemic: A postcard from the Midwest (Wiley Online Library)

Geraldine Gorman PhD, RN , Megha Ramaswamy PhD, MPH , First published: 12 April 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/phn.12730 The last time I was on the veterans' tier in Cook County Jail, one of the detained men sitting on the aluminum benches reached up to shake my hand. “Next time you come, can you bring me a container of fresh air?” That was before we all became wary of the air we breathe, in the days when we still grasped extended hands. Of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United...

Connecting With Incarcerated Parents Is Easier With Photo Patch, an App Developed By a Teen [teenvogue.com]

When Jay'Aina Patton was three, her father, Antoine, went to prison for gun possession. It wasn’t until she was seven or eight that Jay’Aina (or “Jay Jay” as friends and family call her) really understood where her father was. She also knew just how difficult maintaining a relationship with him was. Her father was imprisoned hours away. Her mother, raising two children on her own, could only afford to take them to visit twice during his seven-year incarceration. They couldn’t make up the...

Special Report: 'Death Sentence' - the hidden coronavirus toll in U.S. jails and prisons (msn.com)

COVID-19 has spread rapidly behind bars in Detroit and across the nation, according to an analysis of data gathered by Reuters from 20 county jail systems, 10 state prison systems and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which runs federal penitentiaries. But scant testing and inconsistent reporting from state and local authorities have frustrated efforts to track or contain its spread, particularly in local jails. And figures compiled by the U.S. government appear to undercount the number of...

Incarceration Rates: A Key Measure of Health in America (rwjf.org)

Mass incarceration is a pervasive problem that undermines health and health equity for individuals, families and communities. That’s why we have included it in the 35 measures RWJF is using to track progress toward becoming a country that values and promotes health everywhere, for everyone. As coronavirus sweeps our nation it has brought deep-seated health inequities, including those linked to incarceration, to the forefront. Overcrowding and poor sanitation are putting prisoners at risk now...

Now Is the Time to Transform the Criminal Justice System (aspeninstitute.org)

There is a sense of renewed urgency among criminal justice reform advocates in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As COVID-19 cases rise in jails, prisons, and detention centers, efforts have been made to release young people, older and vulnerable adults, and undocumented migrants. Advocates have encouraged policymakers to consider clemency and approve medical furloughs for those with health challenges. Among many other recommendations, they have called for the immediate release of people...

RecycleForce: Helping Returning Citizens Find Employment [mdrc.org]

By MDRC, May 2020 Subsidized employment programs use public funds to create or support jobs for people who can’t find employment in the regular labor market. These jobs are often called “transitional” because they are temporary until program participants can find permanent unsubsidized work. The largest subsidized employment programs in the United States have operated during periods of economic distress, most recently during the Great Recession in 2009-2010. These programs help to ensure...

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