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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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Action steps using ACEs and trauma-informed care: a resilience model (link.springer.com)

The prison system is an example of the ways undigested trauma from early childhood experiences can join with the conditions of harshness and violence in many of our U.S. prisons and contribute to reinforcing a cycle of reactivity in both Correction Officers and prisoners. The correctional system is rife with challenges to the health and well being of Correction Officers (COs) as well as prisoners. Suicide rates of COs are more than double that of police officers as well as for the national...

Accountability Without Punishment (mettacenter.org)

How can we move beyond a paradigm of punishment? Nonviolence practitioner, mediator, and restorative justice workshop leader Joe Brummer joins Nonviolence Radio for a special show where he shares his experience as a victim of multiple hate crimes to helping people transform conflict and violence into opportunities for healing through restorative practices. (Nonviolence News Portion of Show after interview. Transcript here. ) Listen Now.

California's 'ban the box' law to help ex-felons find jobs after release (vcstar.com)

Starting Jan. 1, people with felony convictions across California will have a chance to do that. That’s when new “ban the box” legislation goes into effect, expanding an older state law that covered only public agencies to every business with five or more employees. At issue is that one little box on an employment application — the one that requires the applicant to check “yes” if she or he has a criminal history. Knowing they are likely to be screened out, job-seekers who would have to...

“BECOMING MS. BURTON: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women” by Susan Burton and Cari Lynn

I met Susan Burton in 2010, but I had learned her name years before. I was doing research about the challenges of re-entry for people incarcerated due to our nation's cruel and biased drug war. At the time, I was in the process of writing The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - a book that aimed to expose the ways the War on Drugs had not only decimated impoverished communities of color but had also helped to birth a new system of racial and social control eerily...

Putting Their Prison Pasts Behind Them (nationswell.com)

These social entrepreneurs aren't just working to reform the criminal justice system - they're a product of it too. America's criminal justice system currently housed more than 2 million people - that's more per capita than any other nation on earth. Even worse: Many are repeat offenders who haven't been offered the support or resources to get their lives back on track once released. A new initiative, backed in part by the singer John Legend, is hoping to reverse those dire statistics.

A Mass Incarceration Mystery [themarshallproject.org]

One of the most damning features of the U.S. criminal justice system is its vast racial inequity. Black people in this country are imprisoned at more than 5 times the rate of whites; one in 10 black children has a parent behind bars, compared with about one in 60 white kids, according to the Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality. The crisis has persisted for so long that it has nearly become an accepted norm. So it may come as a surprise to learn that for the last 15 years, racial...

Inmates are part of an army of firefighters battling a 'monster' that just keeps growing (latimes.com)

For well over a week, hundreds of inmates have chain-sawed through relentless thickets of chaparral, cutting lines through the backcountry to thwart the fire's sudden rushes at homes. On Thursday, they were deep in the Los Padres National Forest, covered in wood grit, soot and sweat, as the Thomas fire continued to grow — becoming the fourth-largest in modern California history. Playing some of the hardest roles are the inmate hand crews, which make up about 20% of the firefighters here.

New California mental health roadmap recommends alternate routes away from incarceration (cafwd.org)

A new strategy of alternatives to incarcerating Californians with mental health needs has been released as part of the work to help counties develop more effective criminal justice systems. After an 18-month review, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) this month released “Together We Can: Reducing Criminal Justice Involvement for People with Mental Illness,” a roadmap to address this complex and growing issue in California. The recommendations in the...

Equine program helps inmates deal with trauma, addiction (mercedsunstar.com)

On a recent fall morning, four women inmates from Chester County Prison entered an indoor arena at the Thorncroft Equestrian Center and began to meet the duo who have been helping them navigate their way toward success outside of the prison walls. But Jubilee and Mia are not your traditional counselors or social workers. Rather, they are the horses the quartet have come to know while engaging in equine therapy at the center outside Malvern, a developing part of the county's acclaimed Women's...

Introducing NEW Becoming Trauma-Informed & Beyond Community

Earlier this year @Dawn Daum wrote to us when she was ready to share ACEs science with people in the organization she works in to make a case for moving towards more trauma-informed care for the benefit of the staff and those they serve. She was frustrated because almost all the training and resources she found were geared towards schools, clinical staff or to organizations working with children and families rather than ACE-impacted adults in the workplace and who are...

Cash bail doesn’t make California safer, it just crowds our jails (ocregister.com)

According to Human Rights Watch, between 2011-2015, one-third of the nearly 1.5 million felony arrests made in California ended in either charges never being filed, charges being dismissed or acquittal, with such resolutions coming days, weeks or months after arrest. In a nation where people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, people who have not been found guilty of a crime and found eligible for release from jail pending a trial or further proceedings should not have their lives...

Criminal Justice Reform for the Long Haul [macfound.org]

It has been two eventful years since the launch of the Safety and Justice Challenge , MacArthur's ambitious effort to stimulate reform of local criminal justice systems, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and change the way the nation thinks about and uses jails. The Challenge targets America's excessive reliance on jail incarceration, a key component and driver of mass incarceration, by supporting a diverse network of communities seeking better, fairer, and more balanced approaches to...

Two Years After End Of Indefinite Solitary In CA, CDCR Violating Terms Of Settlement, And Inmates Experiencing Lasting Psychological Effects, Says Center For Constitutional Rights (witnessla.com)

In 2015, California settled Ashker v. Governor , a historic class-action lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of a group of Pelican Bay State prison inmates who had each spent at least a decade in isolation. The settlement resulted in an end to the use of indefinite solitary confinement in CA prisons. On Monday, CCR filed a motion accusing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of violating the rights of inmates freed from indefinite...

CA Could Reduce Its Prison Population By 30,000, Says Report (witnessla.com)

A new report outlines strategies the state of California could employ that would reduce its prison and jail populations by 30,000 and save approximately $1.5 billion in prison spending. In 2016, there were over 200,000 people were locked in California’s prisons and jails. According to the report, lowering the incarcerated population by 30,000—by reducing the length of prison time for the majority of inmates by 20 percent—would make it possible for the state to close five prisons. The report,...

Violent Crime: A Conversation [themarshallproject.org]

Over the last two years, there has been a great deal of arguing about the prevalence of violent crime in America and how the national crime rate is changing. The president and attorney general say it’s soaring. Criminal justice reformers aren’t so certain. A Who’s Who of crime researchers and experts gathered to tackle the question at the Smart on Crime Innovations conference at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City last month. The panelists were Thomas Abt of Harvard’s...

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