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ACEsConnectionSubgroupsACEs in the Criminal Justice System

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.


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? []

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 []

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 []

(Free to be collage by Ekua Holmes/ 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 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 or at Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia (ILPPP) Working with the National Academies of Sciences,...

The Mental Toll On Us All (

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, 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? (

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 []

By ALEX MCOWEN & PETER BIELLO • MAY 7, 2020, 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 (

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. 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...

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