Facilitating Engagement

Addressing Trauma

Courts, law enforcement, treatment providers, and other relevant organizations should be trauma-informed and integrate trauma-informed practices to increase safety and health for justice-involved individuals, their families, and the community. Justice-involved individuals, including individuals involved in the child welfare system, may have a history of trauma prior to their interaction with the justice system, such as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) or trauma experienced in adulthood. Interactions with justice-involved individuals and their families should be grounded in evidence-based, trauma-informed practices to ensure that services meet holistic needs, maximize impact, and mitigate harm. This can be facilitated through education and training for justice professionals, behavioral health providers, and public health experts to improve their capacity to lead change in communities by understanding the co-occurrence of trauma, mental illness, and substance use disorders and their impact on justice system-involved people.