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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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"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...

Police Need ACE Training to Better Understand Impact of Childhood Violence, Study Says [cypnow.co.uk]

Written by Nina Jacobs, Friday, May 1 2020 - Police officers should be trained in understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on young people in order to tackle an increase in child to parent violence, new research suggests. The study was commissioned by Northumbria Police. A report commissioned by Northumbria Police, Policing Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour: responding to vulnerable families , makes the recommendation as part of a wider strategy to...

COVID-19 Risks Prompt Some California Counties to Ease Jail Populations [chcf.org]

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett, California Health Care Foundation, April 24, 2020 Many county correctional facilities throughout California are reducing their teeming populations to prevent large-scale COVID-19 outbreaks. The dorm rooms, dining halls, and recreation areas in many of these institutions are breeding grounds for spreading the virus, experts say. People have been complaining for weeks that inmates don’t have hand sanitizer or equipment like masks to protect themselves and that cramped...

7.25+

I have spent over a decade working at the intersection of mental health and social/criminal justice systems, but it wasn't until recently when I started collecting ACE scores with the inmates I work with in county jails. Prior to working in the jails, I worked in the state prison system, where I did mental health intake evaluations at the state prison where all offenders in Minnesota enter through. So often, in the back of my mind, was the thought that "if only these guys had the right...

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