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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.


A year without visits: COVID-19’s impact on children with incarcerated parents (North Carolina Health News)

By Hannah Critchfield, July 16, 2020, NC Health News. Correctional facilities throughout the state have shut down in-person visitations to help quell the spread of COVID-19, creating one more roadblock for kids trying to navigate the criminal justice system to stay connected with a parent. In any other year, on Father’s Day, 11-year-old Marley Bennett and her grandmother would pack up their pre-made lunches and drive to Orange Correctional Center for a visit with Marley’s father. They’d sit...

Newsom to release 8,000 prisoners in California by August amid coronavirus outbreaks []

By Jason Fagone, Megan Cassidy, and Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom will release approximately 8,000 people incarcerated inside California’s prison system by August, in a move that comes amid devastating coronavirus outbreaks at several facilities and pressure from lawmakers and advocates. The releases, which were announced just before noon Friday, will come on a rolling basis, and they’ll include both people who were scheduled to be freed soon as well...

California reaches milestone with ACEs initiatives pulsing in all 58 counties. Next: All CA cities.

Karen Clemmer, the Northwest community facilitator with ACEs Connection, was already deeply interested in the CDC/Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study when she and a colleague from the Child Parent Institute were invited to lunch by ACEs Connection founder and publisher Jane Stevens in 2012. But that lunch meeting changed everything. Karen Clemmer “Jane helped us see a bigger world,” says Clemmer. “She came with a much wider lens. She didn’t look only at Sonoma County, she...

Virginia inmates start Black Lives Matter chapter (Virginia Times Dispatch)

By Frank Green, July 16, 2020, Virginia Times Dispatch. Courtney Henson knows the spot outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis where George Floyd's life ended under the knee of a police officer on May 25. Three decades ago Henson, then a teenager and now a resident of Virginia's River North Correctional Center, lived with his mother across the street from the store where Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill prompting a call to the police. [ Please click here to read more. ]

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...

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