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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.

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. With a probation officer at the age of 13, repeated visits to juvenile hall made up most of Sammy’s childhood.

A teenage dad, Sammy made a promise to stay in his child’s life forever — a promise he would be unable to keep. Just a few weeks later, he was gunned down by another young man with a 12-gauge shotgun. Sammy miraculously survived the shotgun blast, but the cycle of trauma continued as social services failed to give Sammy the support he needed to heal. As a victim of gun violence with mounting hospital debt, and hounded by insensitive questions by police officers, Sammy ended up retaliating.

To red the full article written by Yoel Haile, click HERE

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