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PACEs 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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Her father went to prison - so she went to law school (bbc.com)

The first time Teeanna Brisco saw her father after he was released from prison was just before her law school graduation, when she picked him up from the airport. Bernard Brisco had been imprisoned for 20 years for non-violent drug crimes, sentenced in 2001 for selling cocaine. His daughter was just four years old. Mr Brisco, now 53, was given the lengthy sentence because of the so-called "three-strikes" sentencing law. Under the policy, which was implemented in the US in 1994, judges had to...

These California Moms Demand Treatment, Not Torture (forbes.com)

#MomsAgainstTorture is a movement led by Gina Burns, Cheryl Canson and other mothers of vulnerable Californians who were incarcerated even though they were not restored to competence after being deemed incompetent to stand trial. In this conversation, they share the purpose and aims of their movement. Amanda Nguyen: How did you get started in this work? Gina Burns and Cheryl Canson: As a matter of survival. The impacted Black and Indigenous moms who founded #MomsAgainstTorture have been...

U.S. Department of Education Announces Expansion of Second Chance Pell Experiment and Actions to Help Incarcerated Individuals Resume Educational Journeys and Reduce Recidivism

Today, during Second Chance Month , the U.S. Department of Education announces actions to help incarcerated individuals access educational programs as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to support reentry, empower formerly incarcerated persons, enhance public safety, and strengthen our communities and our economy. The Department has invited 73 colleges and universities to participate in the third round of the Second Chance Pell E xperiment, an initiative first launched...

Inmates in California prison can exit with a better chance of success due to first college behind bars (upworthy.com)

Prison is supposed to serve two purposes: punishment and rehabilitation. But often prisoners emerge with the skills to be a better criminal and little knowledge on how to live an improved life. A prison in California is hoping to change the revolving door effect for some inmates by being the first to have a fully accredited junior college behind bars. At Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison inmates can earn an Associate of Arts degree by taking classes in literature, American...

Children’s book aims to combat stigma, uplift children with incarcerated parents [jjie.org]

By Renee Menart, Photo: Rob Marmion/Shutterstock, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, April 1, 2022 Children’s books centered on characters involved in the justice system can support kids with incarcerated parents and offer a compassionate window into this experience for broad young audiences. Incarceration is harmful not only to people held in confinement but to the health of their children , who, for example, may experience post-traumatic stress from witnessing a parent’s arrest or...

Court program for defendants with mental illness eyed for expansion in San Diego County (sandiegouniontribune.com)

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to explore expanding a special, intensive and in-demand criminal court program that aims to get mentally ill offenders out of jail and into housing and treatment. The board wants to take a closer look at growing what is known as Behavioral Health Court, designed for offenders who have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The 12-year-old program the county funds in San Diego Superior Court is relatively small, capped at...

Felony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing (sentencingproject.org)

In San Joaquin County, California in 2010, 19-year-old Emmanuel Mendoza helped lure a robbery victim to a location where a masked accomplice waited with a firearm. When a struggle with the victim over the firearm ensued, Mendoza’s accomplice fired a fatal shot. Although Mendoza did not have a weapon and the killing had not been planned, he was convicted of felony murder with special circumstances, and automatically sentenced to life without parole (LWOP). 1) In prison, he ended his gang...

The invention of incarceration (knowablemagazine.org)

For most of Western history, long-term incarceration wasn’t used as punishment, and many countries even had rules against it, Rubin tells Knowable . “The idea of confining people for long periods of time as punishment was really quite revolutionary.” Her research involves combing archives for records, letters and other documents on the early history of prisons, and along with other scholars she argues that prisons as we now know them first arose in the nascent United States, shortly after...

Juvenile Court Judge Katherine Lucero Now Leads California’s Historic Migration from Punishment to Healing [imprintnews.org]

By Julie Reynolds Martinez and Jeremy Loudenback, Photo: Josie Lepe, The Imprint, March 9, 2022 Katherine Lucero — a daughter of farmworkers and longtime juvenile court judge who calls for compassion and support rather than jail and foster care — is now leading the most populous state toward a once-unimaginable goal: a future without youth prisons. In a historic shift aimed at reversing decades of poor outcomes for youth offenders and public safety, California is closing its Division of...

As COVID spread in federal prisons, many at-risk inmates tried and failed to get out (npr.org)

As of early March, officials at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) say 287 federal inmates have died from COVID-19, a count that does not include deaths in privately managed prisons. Bureau officials have been saying since the beginning of the pandemic that they have a plan to keep the situation under control, but an NPR analysis of federal prison death records suggests a far different story. The federal prison system has seen a significant rise in deaths during the pandemic years. In 2020,...

Much Like the Victims They Try to Help, Gun Violence Prevention Workers Have Scars [time.com]

Chronic stress, trauma exposure, frequent threats of violence and the relentless grind of gun crimes’ impact: A recently-released report from the University of Illinois Chicago reveals in stark terms the strain and struggles that many frontline violence prevention workers face as they try to combat gun violence. In 2022, Chicago is coming off another record year of homicides, similar to many other major cities across the U.S. 797 people were killed in 2021 with 3,677 non-fatal shootings—an...

Women leaving prison in Colorado are released without much-needed resources [coloradosun.com]

By Daliah Singer, Photo: Eli Imadali/The Colorado Trust, The Colorado Sun, February 25, 2022 On the day Pam Clifton was released from prison to a halfway house in Littleton, she was in possession of one pair of sweatpants, a box of paperwork and $3.18. It was 2002, and she had served almost four years on a drug charge. Being on the outside immediately overwhelmed her. Even the thought of walking into a 7-Eleven was terrifying; there were too many choices, too many bright lights. “I remember...

Mindfulness Transforms Feelings (prisonmindfulness.org)

From one of our recent Path of Freedom prison classes: “In here we feel just about everything you could feel. But with the tools that we have from this practice we can see the feelings for what they are, allow them to be, and maybe even work with them a little bit, but not get swept up by them. And we can support each other in that, which is why people through the pandemic came up to us and asked us about what it is that we do and when the classes will be starting up again. Even some of...

Patience in Prison (prisonmindfulness.org)

From one of our recent Path of Freedom prison classes: "I practiced outside while I was walking: every time my mind would get caught up on wanting to get out of here, I would just let go of the thoughts, clear my mind and say to myself "patience." And I practiced in my cell: every time my mind would get caught up on wanting to get out of here, I would just let go of the thoughts, clear my mind, and say to myself "patience." So whether outside or inside, the practice was really helpful."...

In a first, former prisoner takes seat in New York State Assembly [reuters.com]

By Dan Fastenberg, Photo: Dan Fastenberg/Reuters, February 10, 2022 As far as Eddie Gibbs knows, he is the first person elected to the New York State Legislature who previously served time in prison, but shortly before his inauguration on Thursday he recalled wondering if he could ever shake the stigma of his manslaughter conviction more than 30 years ago. Gibbs, 53, won handily as the Democratic candidate in the Jan. 18 special election in the state Assembly's 68th District to represent...

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