COSSAP: Trauma-Specific Services: Programs That Work

Apr 14 2021

With the increased awareness of the impact of stress, adversity, and trauma on people’s lives, criminal justice and behavioral health professionals are considering what this means in their specific settings. There is a growing evidence-base documenting the impact of child neglect and abuse (as well as other forms of traumatic stress) on the health, mental health, and behavior of men and women with justice involvement. While research and clinical experience indicate a high incidence of trauma and co-occurring problems, correctional and behavioral health professionals often struggle with the realities of providing effective management and services. This is particularly challenging when many institutions and agencies have staff members impacted by trauma in their personal and work lives. Many correctional agencies struggle with organizational stress and trauma, which creates additional challenges in the environment and culture of the workplace. Today the term “trauma informed” is common in many settings and yet often misunderstood. The process of moving from trauma informed to trauma responsive to implement trauma-informed care is also challenging to administrators and staff members. Examples of trauma-focused interventions are also provided.

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