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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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Consider alternative before building a bigger jail [Bangor Daily News]

Penobscot County is planning a new, bigger jail. The argument is that the currently overcrowded facility is a risky environment. While roughly 75 new beds are needed to reduce overcrowding, the group is planning to add twice that , just in case. Now seems like a good time to re-imagine prison. Since 2005, the Corrections Alternatives Advisory Committee of Maine has been discussing the need for reform in the state justice system, citing bail reform, providing resources toward reducing...

Healing and Justice Toolkit (Dignity and Power Now)

We have learned so much from our anchor organization Dignity And Power Now , a “Los Angeles based grassroots organization founded in 2012 that fights for the dignity and power of all incarcerated people, their families, and communities” and are so thrilled to have been able to collaborate on a Healing Justice Toolkit with DPN. The guide was written by DPN, edited by Thandisizwe Chimurenga, translated into Spanish by delia ayala, and designed by Design Action Collective . Here is an excerpt...

Teaching in America’s Prisons Has Taught Me to Believe in Second Chances [jjie.org]

In 2007, I gave someone a second chance. I was in Danbury (Conn.) Federal Correctional Institution recruiting women for a new program for people returning from prison that I was running in New York City. A woman approached me and handed me her portfolio. It was basically a detailed resume of her accomplishments, skills and goals for the future. Over a two-year period before this, I had visited at least six female facilities in New York and Connecticut and met hundreds of women looking to...

Virginia Suburb Shows That Diversion, Victim-centered Agreements Work [jjie.org]

Over the last several years, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDRDC) of Fairfax County, Va., has been working on transformative efforts around juvenile justice in an effort to keep low-risk youth from entering the system and address disparities for youth of color. One large area targeted by these efforts was the diversion programming and Juvenile Intake Office. In Virginia, intake officers are decision-makers. It is their responsibility to review charges from petitioners...

More than eight in 10 men in prison suffered childhood adversity – new report [phys.org]

Male prisoners are much more likely than men in the wider population to have suffered childhood adversities such as child maltreatment or living in a home with domestic violence, according to a new report by Public Health Wales and Bangor University. The findings suggests that preventative action and early intervention to tackle Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) could prevent crime and reduce costs for the criminal justice system . In this new survey of men in Her Majesty's (HM) Prison...

Criminal Diversion offers treatment instead of jail time in San Diego (sdnews.com)

As part of their ongoing effort to get low-level drug offenders off the streets and into treatment, City Attorney Mara W. Elliott and San Diego Police Chief Nisleit have teamed to launch Prosecution and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Services (PLEADS). PLEADS is a voluntary, pre-booking diversion pathway that allows individuals suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance to avoid prosecution and jailtime by agreeing to seek support services. The Neighborhood Policing...

Overdoses in California prisons up 113% in three years — nearly 1,000 incidents in 2018 (sfchronicle.com)

Nearly 1,000 men and women in California prisons overdosed last year and required emergency medical attention in what officials acknowledge is part of an alarming spike in opioid use by those behind bars, according to records obtained by The Chronicle. The number of inmates treated for drug or alcohol overdoses jumped from 469 to 997 from 2015 to 2018 — a 113% increase. While many of the prisoners survived, the most recent data available show drug-related inmate deaths are on the rise, too —...

Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind [nytimes.com]

There’s an anecdote that Ruth Wilson Gilmore likes to share about being at an environmental-justice conference in Fresno in 2003. People from all over California’s Central Valley had gathered to talk about the serious environmental hazards their communities faced, mostly as a result of decades of industrial farming, conditions that still have not changed. (The air quality in the Central Valley is the worst in the nation, and one million of its residents drink tap water more poisoned than the...

Rise Up Helps Former Inmates Make Transition to New Life (eastcountymagazine.org)

A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses. At Rise Up Industries ( www.riseupindustries.org ) change doesn’t come quickly and the numbers of those enrolled or completing the program may not initially impress. But for the four graduates of the 18- month program, it’s been a godsend. In addition to extensive classroom and on-the-job training...

Growth through Trauma-Informed Strategies: Coaching and Consultation with Rick Griffin

There is a Chinese proverb that states, “If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people." The benefits are evident, yet the real question becomes, “how do you grow people?” This Big Idea Session, CRI’s Trauma Coaching and Trauma Consultation Training, answers this question. Schools, organizations, and parents are discovering that the traditional “command and control” style of working with...

James Fox and the Prison Yoga Project (dailygood.org)

James Fox M.A. is the founder and director of the Prison Yoga Project , (PYP), an organization dedicated to establishing yoga and mindfulness programs in prisons and rehabilitation centers worldwide. Since 2002, Fox has been teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners at San Quentin Prison as well as other California State prisons. The Prison Yoga Project helps incarcerated men and women build a better life through trauma-informed yoga with a focus on mindfulness . It helps prisoners make...

Restoring Prisoners' Access to Education Reduces Recidivism [psmag.com]

As of early April, imprisoned Americans stand to gain easier access to a higher education. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Representatives Danny Davis (D-Illinois), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), and French Hill (R-Arkansas) introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation to restore Pell Grant access to the incarcerated. If the bill passes, 463,000 prisoners will become eligible for federal financial support toward earning a college degree, which experts argue could go a...

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