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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.

March 2022

Felony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing (

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 (

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 []

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 (

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 []

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 []

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...

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