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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.

Tagged With "African American"

Blog Post

A Mass Incarceration Mystery [themarshallproject.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
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...
Blog Post

A Police Department's Difficult Assignment: Atonement [witnessla.com]

By Michael Friedrich, CityLab, October 27, 2019 Standing before the congregation of the Progressive Community Church of Stockton, California, Eric Jones, the city’s police chief, apologized. It was July 2016, in the furious days after the police shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Those were followed closely by the deadly ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and in Baton Rouge after protests over the Sterling...
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A Prosecutor's Vision for a Better Justice System (dailygood.org)

I am a prosecutor. I believe in law and order. I am the adopted son of a police officer, a Marine and a hairdresser. I believe in accountability and that we should all be safe in our communities. I love my job and the people that do it. I just think that it's our responsibility to do it better. The staggering inefficiency is what drove me to criminal justice work. The unfairness of it all made me want to be a defender. The power dynamic that I came to understand made me become a prosecutor.
Blog Post

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...
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Bryan Stevenson Wants the U.S. to Face Its History [nytimes.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Last month, Congress passed the First Step Act, a prison-reform bill intended to reduce recidivism. Do you think this bill will actually change the realities of mass incarceration? It’s important but insufficient, in terms of the actual number of people in jails and prisons. We’ve gone from 300,000 people in jails and prisons in the 1970s to 2.2 million people today. We have to radically reorient ourselves and start talking about rehabilitation, restoration and how we end crime. And if we do...
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Building a Resilient Community (United Way of East Central Iowa)

Former Member ·
  ACES: Building a Resilient Community Childhood trauma has affected the majority of people in our community.  Specific family problems as well as child abuse and neglect (summarized as Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACEs) have been shown...
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Childhood Researchers Study Health Effects Of A Parent Behind Bars (sideeffectspublicmedia.org)

Having a parent behind bars can poorly impact a child’s behavioral, emotional and even physical health. A new community-led research project in Indianapolis seeks to understand that link more clearly. The research project is a partnership between a community leader Shoshanna Spector, executive director of the Indianapolis Congregational Action Network (IndyCAN), and two academic researchers, Tomlin, who is the director of the Riley Childhood Development Center at the Indiana University...
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Court fees and minor fines are leading to debilitating cycles of incarceration in the US (Aeon.co)

Ashley Brown ·
In St Louis County in Missouri - and, indeed, across much of the United States - court fines and fees for minor traffic violations can quickly mount, leading to jail for those unable to pay. This is a crisis hidden in plain sight, with non-white communities disproportionately targeted for police stops. A Debtors' Prison tells the story of two women, Samantha Jenkins and Meredith Walker, who became plaintiffs in a landmark $4.75 million illegal jailing case. Set in the hometown of Michael...
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Crime and Punishment in America

Jill Karson ·
This book--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--is for readers interested in the criminal justice system and how poverty, abuse, and neglect early in life shape our future citizens and can predict, in part, whether or not they will become the perpetrators of violent crime. According to author Elliott Currie, to prevent violent crime and create a more peaceful society, the first priority is to address the roots of violence and invest resources in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. He...
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Cycle of Risk: The Intersection of Poverty, Violence, and Trauma (issuelab.org)

We make the case that the conditions that foster violence and the conditions that perpetuate poverty are interconnected and reinforce each other; we further show the traumatic effects of violence -- and how trauma drives both poverty and violence. We then examine how violence has been used to enforce systems of racial oppression and how communities of color are disparately impacted by violence today. The conditions that perpetuate poverty and the conditions that foster violence often...
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“Disgraceful” Disparities In School Discipline Funnel Kids Into Justice System [witnessla.com]

By Taylor Walker, Witness LA, November 11, 2019 Research and the national conversation around racial disparities in school discipline have largely remained focused on the outsized disparate treatment that black students receive when compared with their white peers. Yet Native American youth face much the same disciplinary treatment in schools that black students do, according to a report from San Diego State University and Sacramento Native American Higher Education Collaborative (SNAHEC)...
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Momentum Grows In Congress To Expand Access To Quality Postsecondary Education For People In Prison [witnessla.com]

By Witness LA, July 8, 2019. Twenty-five years ago, the massive Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which, among other things, prevented incarcerated students hoping for a college degree from accessing Pell Grants, was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton, and essentially resulted in the slashing of opportunities for higher education in federal and state prisons across the U.S., a move that, as Mikaol T. Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University,...
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Mothers in Prison (www.nytimes.com)

Excerpt 1: TULSA, Okla. — The women’s wing of the jail here exhales sadness. The inmates, wearing identical orange uniforms, ache as they undergo withdrawal from drugs, as they eye one another suspiciously, and as they while away the days stripped of freedom, dignity, privacy and, most painful of all, their children. “She’s disappointed in me,” Janay Manning, 29, a drug offender shackled to a wall for an interview, said of her eldest daughter, a 13-year-old. And then she started crying, and...
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"Moving From Trauma Understanding to Trauma Responsive" - SAMHSA Forum

Becky Haas ·
Johnson City to co-host forum on community-wide systems of care On Sept. 5, the City of Johnson City will co-host a forum entitled Moving from Understanding to Implementing Trauma-Responsive Services in conjunction with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). The forum will address SAMHSA recommendations for communities to treat trauma as a component of effective behavioral health service delivery. Statistics recently released from the Tennessee Department of...
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New Study Details The Long Shadows Cast on Children After Parents Are Locked Up [centerforhealthjournalism.org]

By Giles Bruce, Center for Health Journalism, August 26, 2019 Incarcerating parents doesn’t just affect them, but can also have a major mental health impact on the children left behind, even as those kids become adults. That’s the crux of a new study published in JAMA Network Open that crystallizes the long-term psychological effects of having a caregiver behind bars. It comes at a time when an estimated 8% of American children have had a parent or guardian imprisoned. Previous research has...
Blog Post

North Dakota’s Norway Experiment (motherjones.com)

Late one night in October 2015, North Dakota prisons chief Leann Bertsch met Karianne Jackson, one of her deputies, for a drink in a hotel bar in Oslo, Norway. They had just spent an exhausting day touring Halden, the maximum-security facility Time has dubbed " the world's most humane prison", yet neither of them could sleep. Halden is situated in a remote forest of birch, pine, and spruce with an understory of blueberry shrubs. The prison is surrounded by a single wall. It has no barbed...
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Oprah Looks At How California’s Infamous Pelican Bay Prison Is Leading The Way In Reforming Solitary Confinement [witnessla.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes broadcast Oprah Winfrey reported on the use of solitary confinement in American prisons. She talked about how California is leading the way to reform of the practice, with changes in the state’s Pelican Bay Prison, which Winfrey called the most notorious state penitentiary in America. It is a story that is very much worth watching. “Designed and built as a ‘supermax’ facility,” Oprah began, referring to the 1989-constructed prison, “it’s been used for nearly 30 years...
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Paying (and Paying and Paying) a Debt to Society [TheAtlantic.com]

Last week, a federal judge in Brooklyn issued a ruling that sent a small shockwave through the criminal-justice world. Rather than sentencing a woman who had been convicted of smuggling more than a pound of cocaine into the United States to a few years in prison, Judge Frederic Block opted for extraordinary leniency and gave her probation. Block’s rationale was simple enough: The “collateral consequences” of being a convicted felon are punishment enough. Quoting experts on American...
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Pregnant Behind Bars: What We Do And Don't Know About Pregnancy And Incarceration [NPR]

There are 111,616 incarcerated women in the United States, a 7-fold increase since 1980. Some of these women are pregnant, but amid reports of women giving birth in their cells or shackled to hospital beds , prison and public health officials have no hard data on how many incarcerated women are pregnant, or on the outcomes of those pregnancies. A study published in The American Journal of Public Health Thursday changes that. The study included 57 percent of the US prison population (New...
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Presentation to Philadelphia Defenders Association

Leslie Lieberman ·
On October 17th I gave a presentation to 70 + attorneys from the Defenders Association.  Several members of this group assisted me by sending me great information about ACEs and the criminal justice system for which I am grateful.  The 3...
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Private Prisons Are Back in Business [PSMag.com]

It was only a matter of time before Attorney General Jeff Sessions backtracked on the Department of Justice’s earlier plans to phase out the use of private prisons. Indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union has been concerned about the former senator’s ties to the private prison lobby since October, when Geo Group—one of the biggest private prison corporations—hired two of Sessions’ former aides, David Stewart and Ryan Robichaux. On Thursday, Sessions issued a memo overturning the one put...
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Some 350 Florida Leaders Expected to Attend Think Tank with Dr. Vincent Felitti, Co-Principal Investigator of the ACE Study; Expert on ACEs Science

Leaders from across the Sunshine State will take part in a “Think Tank” in Naples, FL, on Monday, August 6, to help create a more trauma-informed Florida. The estimated 350 attendees will include policy makers and community teams made up of school superintendents, law enforcement officers, judges, hospital administrators, mayors, PTA presidents, child welfare experts, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, philanthropists, university researchers, state agency heads, and...
Blog Post

Staying Connected: Moms Who Pump in Prison (nextcity.org)

An innovative lactation program encourages incarcerated new moms to maintain their breast milk supply, reinforcing maternal bonds and providing health benefits to their newborns. Jackson is one of six mothers at Riverside who are currently participating in the lactation program, one of the first of its kind inside an American jail. Women who give birth just before or during their time here are given access to breastfeeding education and the facilities of the lactation room, plus additional...
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Exploring Mass Incarceration as a Societal Problem [PSMag.com]

Activists and policymakers often rattle off figures to get Americans to care about their country's mass-incarceration problem : More than two million people are locked up in prisons and jails in the United States. In state prisons, African-American men are imprisoned at a rate around five times higher than that of white men. The U.S. accounts for a little over 4 percent of the world's population, yet holds 21 percent of the world's prison population. But PBS's new documentary The Prison in...
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Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls

  [This information is from The Crittenton Foundation website.] Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls  by Francine T. Sherman and co-author Annie Balck. This report is the most comprehensive to date on girls in the juvenile justice system. The report is released through a partnership between The National Crittenton Foundation and The National Women’s Law Center and the authors.   The full report, executive summary and comprehensive infographic...
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Gun violence is a ‘contagious’ social epidemic (scienceblog.com)

Gun violence is often described as an epidemic or a public health concern, due to its alarmingly high levels in certain populations in the United States. It most often occurs within socially and economically disadvantaged minority urban communities, where rates of gun violence far exceed the national average. A new Yale study has established a model to predict how “contagious” the epidemic really is. In a study published online on Jan. 3 in the Journal of the American Medical Association,...
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Jail & Prison Resources

Joanna Weill ·
Addressing Correctional Officer Stress: Programs and Strategies Source: NCJRS Description: A guide to assist corrections administrators is addressing employee stress. Link:  https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183474.pdf   Art Behind Bars...
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Jeff Sessions Is Throwing the Brakes on Criminal Justice Reform [PSMag.com]

This summer marks nearly three years not only since the deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, but also since a major transformation began in the American criminal justice system. Police departments are increasingly implementing training regimens to combat racial bias and requiring officers to wear body cameras, with some 95 committing to do so in the future in January of 2016; district attorneys are increasingly prosecuting police officers...
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Juvenile Justice Resources

Joanna Weill ·
7 Common Characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts Source: Gains Center, SAMHSA Description: Identifies seven common characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts (JMHCs) as part of a National Institute of Justice – funded study,...
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Kelly Orians: Getting Out and Staying Out (dailygood.org)

Kelly Orians is a staff attorney at The First 72 Plus , a New Orleans nonprofit founded by six formerly incarcerated people to help other formerly incarcerated men and women navigate the first 72 hours of their release. She is also the co-founder of Rising Foundations , a partner nonprofit that provides pathways to self-sufficiency for formerly incarcerated people, with an aim to stop the cycle of incarceration in low-income communities through small business development and home ownership.
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Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2018 [prisonpolicy.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data, but it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what’s going on. Meaningful criminal justice reform that reduces...
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Study: About 4 Percent of Women Are Pregnant When Jailed (nytimes.com)

About 4 percent of women incarcerated in state prisons across the U.S. were pregnant when they were jailed, according to a new study released Thursday that researchers hope will help lawmakers and prisons better consider the health of women behind bars. The number of imprisoned women has risen dramatically over the past decades, growing even as the overall prison rates decline. But there had been a lack of data on women's health and no system for tracking how frequently incarcerated women...
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Suit: A federal jail in Philly is stopping kids from seeing their dads (philly.com)

Marie Gottschalk, a University of Pennsylvania political scientist and author of the 2014 book Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics , said that the courts have typically given prisons wide berth to adopt restrictive policies in the name of security. " There's a broader trend across the country of making it more difficult to visit people who are incarcerated," she said. "We're seeing greater use of videotaping rather than letting people come visit. It's part of...
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The case for capping all prison sentences at 20 years [vox.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
America puts more people in jail and prison than any other country in the world. Although the country has managed to slightly reduce its prison population in recent years, mass incarceration remains a fact of the US criminal justice system. It’s time for a radical idea that could really begin to reverse mass incarceration: capping all prison sentences at no more than 20 years. It may sound like an extreme, even dangerous, proposal, but there’s good reason to believe it would help reduce the...
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VA Supreme Court Reviews Order Restoring Voting Rights to 206,000 Ex-Felons (nonprofitquarterly.org)

In May, NPQ reported that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had issued an executive order to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 ex-inmates in time for the November election. Nonprofits and advocacy groups have been instrumental in educating and alerting ex-inmates about shedding their formerly disenfranchised status. However, Republican legislators pushed back on McAuliffe’s order almost immediately, and now they are taking the issue to the state Supreme Court to determine if the...
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Without access to credit, ex-cons may return to lives of crime [thehill.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Every week, more than 10,000 prisoners are released from U.S. prisons and begin the long process of reintegrating into society. For many, a successful reintegration will occur only if they can access the types of credit commonly used by all American citizens, such as credit cards and auto loans. For those unable to borrow, prospects for successful re-entry fall and recidivism risks rise. That’s bad for all of us. Lack of access to credit can push former inmates into poverty traps and cycles...
Ask the Community

Help our public radio station with a story: How did separation from your parents as a child impact you?

Laura Klivans ·
KQED is the National Public Radio affiliate in San Francisco, CA. We’d like to hear from adults (18+) who were separated from their parents when they were children. Perhaps the separation was due to economic reasons, war and conflict, incarceration, foster care, or something else. How did that period of separation impact you in the long-run? How has it impacted your connection to others and how you build relationships? If you're a parent, how does it influence how you parent? We’re...
Comment

Re: A Vision of Healing, and Hope for Formerly Incarcerated Women (nationswell.com)

Robert Olcott ·
When the American Arbitration Association's Rochester, NY office of the National Center for Dispute Settlement, began assembling a 'Nationwide Prison Dispute Mediation Team' [shortly after/in response to, the Attica 'Rebellion'] including former guards and former prisoners on the team, we were quite fortunate to have a woman who was a 'former prisoner' on the team, ....
Reply

Re: Use of ACE test in County Jails

David M. Young ·
Doug - I like your extension of the inquiry. We have conducted two projects in our county jail to improve health, wellness, and self-care management. Our first project focused on improving health literacy and the second on health insurance literacy. Both have been published in Corrections Today as follows: Young, D. & C. Weinert. 2013. Improving Health Literacy with Inmates . Corrections Today , 75(5):70-74. Alexandria, Virginia: American Correctional Association. Young, D. &...
Comment

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

Robert Olcott ·
As a former "Adjudicated Youthful Offender", I'd been assured I had no "Criminal Record"--in spite of 'seeing the inside of Attica' as a 'registered guest' in late 1970/ early 1971, before another 'youthful offender' I'd known and respected, was killed. On the 40th anniversary of that Attica event, the SUNY-Buffalo Law School hosted an anniversary conference... and a New Hampshire Historian, Teresa Lynch, did a presentation there on the Telephone transcripts of then President Richard Nixon's...
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Will the Coronavirus Make Us Rethink Mass Incarceration? (newyorker.com)

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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Proposition 47 and Racial Disparities in California [ppic.org]

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...
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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...
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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...
 
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