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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.

January 2019

The Importance of Connection | Alissa R. Ackerman | TEDxCSULB ( & 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 . “A group of...

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

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 []

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...

NYC Books Through Bars (

I recently slipped through a sidewalk cellar door to enter the basement of Freebird Books , a large space crammed with books organized into different sections, where I spent the evening reading letters from prison inmates and selecting and packaging books for them. At least twice a week , volunteers go through the 700-800 letters NYC Books Through Bars , a collective based in New York City, New York, receives from inmates every month and fulfill their requests. It's a team effort. Founded 21...

YPD hosts specialized training for over 170 officers and advocates

I had the chance to attend a training for law enforcement and others, described below, in Yarmouth, MA, a few weeks ago. The presentation, "Trauma Informed Response Training for Law Enforcement & Multi Disciplinary Team Members," was given by retired detective Justin Boardman . Boardman was joined in the morning by the chief domestic violence prosecutor of the Cape & Islands, Michael Patterson. Here is a news story excerpt about the training from the Cape Cod newsletter (yes, the...

How solitary confinement drove a young inmate to the brink of insanity (

With his mental state deteriorating as he sat in the crushing isolation of solitary confinement, a desperate inmate named Anthony Gay saw a temporary way out. Sometimes it came in the form of a contraband razor blade. Occasionally it was a staple from a legal document or a small shard of something he had broken. Each time he harmed himself, he knew that, at least for a little while, the extreme step would bring contact with other human beings. Therapists would rush to calm him. Nurses would...

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