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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.

Racism Kills: What Community-Level Interventions Can Do About It []


In the first two installments of this series, we addressed promising approaches for buffering the impact of racism on health—learning cognitive and emotional strategies, known as self-regulation, for coping with stress and building cultural connections that buffer the impacts of toxic stress. Both of those arenas are born out of social science research showing a connection between these elements and improved health outcomes, even in the face of significant adversity.

But these individual approaches beg a larger question: If we address the broader, community-level conditions that shape individual well-being, could we improve people’s health? The answer is probably, according to existing research focused on the impact of community support and systems on the health of people who have experienced adversity, as well as interventions designed to do so. While these broader interventions are more complex to implement, the benefit is that they may prevent some adversity before it ever occurs.

Wendy Ellis works at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and is the co-principal investigator and project director of the Building Community Resilience Collaborative. She and her team have developed a model to explain the connection between individual adversity and their community. In their model, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are influenced by, and maybe even born from, adverse community environments.

[For more of this story, written by Miriam Zoila Perez, go to]

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