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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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Equal Justice Initiative 2020 Report [eji.org]

From Executive Director Bryan Stevenson: Dear Friends: This has been a challenging and eventful year where we have alll witnessed much loss, fear and uncertainty. The legacy of our nation's history of racial injustice has been painfully evident in a series of disturbing incidents of police violence and racial profiling. People in jails and prisons have experienced devastation, disease and high rates of death as the COVID crisis has been especially challenging for the incarcerated. To read...

UC to Launch Its First Bachelor's Program in Prison [kqed.org]

By Vanessa Rancano, KQED, December 15, 2020 UC Irvine and the state prison system have reached a deal to create the first University of California bachelor’s degree program behind bars. Since California opened the door for community colleges to teach in prisons in 2014, some 2,000 incarcerated men and women across the state have earned associate degrees, said Brant Choate, director of rehabilitative programs for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. But opportunities...

After her incarceration ‘broke’ son, this woman created non-profit to support children of offenders (AI.com)

By Roy S. Johnson, December 4, 2020, AL.com. Danielle Lacey Chavers rolled the dice. Though she didn’t fully grasp the depth of the consequences. Not even as she rounded the corner inside a gated Trace Crossings community in Hoover and saw a fire truck leaving the cul-de-sac where her family lived. Or as she saw an ambulance and a phalanx of police cars in front of their home. Or realized it was a drug raid. The oldest of Chavers’s two sons, Jeremy, a teenager who had picked his younger...

SC inmates use art to heal from sexual assault trauma, domestic violence (The Post and Courier)

By Sara Coello, December 7, 2020, Post and Courier. At two women’s prisons in South Carolina, butterfly wings spread out across the walls. The murals, at Leath and Camille Graham correctional institutions, are the first stage of a project focused on healing for inmates who have survived sexual and domestic violence. Artist Cathy Salser guided 32 inmates, each of whom decorated one of the 16 panels that make up a butterfly. They painted scenes and scrawled poetry that reminded them of their...

FREE Event: Trauma-Informed Correctional Design with Boston Architectural College!

Join us on December 8th for this discussion on Transforming Correctional Design for Justice Reform! Work in corrections or youth justice? Engaged in the social justice movement? Are you a designer or architect? This is one talk you can't afford to miss! Christine Cowart, of Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership will join Janet Roche, faculty member and Alumni Council member of Boston Architectural College (BAC), in alive-broadcast event, to discuss the implications of trauma-informed principles...

'For Many Years I Didn't Believe I Was Human' [jjie.org]

By Z, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, November 9, 2020 In 2000, I was 14 years old, in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. You wouldn’t believe such a Third World slum existed within history’s richest country; oh, but it did. It does. A section of one of the world’s most glamorous cities set aside to hide thousands of homeless people, to hide America’s unwillingness to deal with poverty, mental health, drug addiction and homelessness. It’s all swept under the rug, or under the shadow of downtown’s...

Stories from Incarcerated Women Show the Importance of Furthering Trauma-Informed Care while Prioritizing Decarceration [urban.org]

By Jahnavi Jagannath, Kierra B. Jones, Janeen Buck Willison, Urban Institute, November 5, 2020 Women make up the fastest-growing share of the incarcerated population in the US. Incarceration can be especially traumatic for women, who may experience more harassment and violence while incarcerated and face unique barriers to successful reentry after incarceration. To learn what affects incarcerated women’s feelings of safety and well-being and how prisons can be more responsive to their...

No return to lock ’em up — California voters stick with less punitive justice (calmatters.org)

This year, voters were given the opportunity to start swinging back toward stricter penalties — and opted not to. Proposition 20 would have given prosecutors new powers to charge certain non-violent crimes as felonies and made it harder for long-time inmates to qualify for early-release consideration. As of late this afternoon, the measure is down by 24 points with the vote count continuing, and the Associated Press has projected its defeat. That’s proof, Prop. 20 opponents say, that...

PROP 17: Restores Right to Vote after Completion of Prison Term. Legislative Constitutional Amendment (votersguide.sos.ca.gov)

Yesterday, millions of CA voters approved Proposition 17, restoring the right to vote to over 50,000 Californians who have completed their prison terms. Together, we have freed the vote for our community members on parole! We know how important the voices of these citizens are and we’re grateful that Californians across this state voted to include them in our democracy. Our democracy now includes more of US! For more information, visit, votersguide.sos.ca.gov by clicking HERE.

New Resource: Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic One-Pager (English & Spanish!)

English: The California Department of Public Health, Injury and Prevention Branch (CDPH/IVPB) and the California Department of Social Service, Office of Child Abuse Prevention’s (CDSS/OCAP) , Essentials for Childhood (EfC) Initiative , ACEs Connection , and the Yolo County Children’s Alliance have co-created a newly developed resource, “Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic” in both English and Spanish. This material is intended for Californian families experiencing the severe...

Pandemic slows legal voting from California jails (calmatters.org)

Jose Armendariz, 30, has never been able to vote. Sentenced to 90 years to life in prison at 16, Armendariz is barred from casting a ballot by California’s felony disenfranchisement laws. But after learning that many of those behind bars can cast ballots, he has become an inside organizer for Unlock the Vote , an American Civil Liberties Union project aimed at registering voters in Southern California jails. Armendariz goes cell-to-cell at Orange County’s Theo Lacy Jail, educating people...

A County-Tribal Partnership to Improve Family Experience with Courts [imprintnews.org]

By Kim Schneider, The Imprint, October 12, 2020 A Minnesota tribal community and county have announced a partnership that aims to better serve Native parents and kids in family and criminal cases through more coordinated court processing. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Itasca County, located in northern Minnesota, will design and pilot family-centered solutions for people in criminal or dependency court cases. One of the project leaders, Minnesota Ninth District Judge Korey Wahwassuck,...

Govenor Newsom Signs Brady's Bills into Law (ca.bradyunited.org)

We just received word that Governor Newsom signed microstamping bill, AB 2847! We'd like to thank Assembly Members Chiu & Gabriel, and coauthoring Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Gipson, Gloria, Muratsuchi, M. Stone, Ting, and Wicks. We'd also like to thank coauthoring Senators Jackson & Wiener, and of course, Governor Newsom. Congratulations to the thousands of Brady supporters who helped steward this lifesaving bill through the state legislature and onto the governor's desk. Your...

Mental Health Needs of Law Enforcement: Being Proactive in a Reactive Career

How Do You Help Police Officers Address Trauma? Officer mental health is an often overlooked component of safety and wellness. Good mental health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), between 7 to 19 percent of police officers have symptoms of PTSD and 1 in 4 police officers have thoughts of suicide at some point in...

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