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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.

June 2019

Developing Super Powers: Using Resilience Strategies to Cope with Negative Experiences. Introducing CRI's Newest Book!

“I believe that everyone, especially a child, deserves to know how their brains are shaped by environment, to then understand their capacity for building proactive protective factors. We all deserve to be super heroes as we do the best we can to consciously live life well. ” - Teri Barila The superheroes we learn about in comics, movies, and TV shows swoop in to save the world with their incredible powers, to shield people from harm. But in our world, no matter how much we wish to protect...

Clark instructors help Larch inmates earn GEDs (

YACOLT — Posted on the walls in the Larch Corrections Center’s education building are photos of inmates, beaming in blue caps and gowns. These are men who have earned their General Educational Development certificates, or GEDs. These are the men who came first. In a nearby classroom, other men in beige and burgundy uniforms huddle over textbooks and worksheets. These are the men who hope to come next. Clark College’s GED program at Larch Corrections Center is a cornerstone of the educational...

Graduations, non-linear paths, & the importance of getting started

With graduation season upon us, I have been thinking a lot about one of my favorite graduation speeches. It’s the speech that Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, gave in 2014 at Dartmouth College. She references the typical expected advice from a graduation speech: “Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big...." And then she says, “I think that’s crap.”

Why Focus on Resilience? 2019 BPT Conference Big Idea Session with Teri Barila

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in” -Desmond Tutu. This quote captures the essence of why resilience matters. To Community Resilience Initiative, Resilience is not about “lifting yourself up by your bootstraps” or “bouncing back” from serious harm or injury. To us, Resilience is about self-discovery and self-awareness based on what the ACE Study, neurobiology, and epigenetics tell us...

Reducing Harm for People in the Corrections System [Trauma Informed Oregon]

When I entered Framingham State Prison for the first time at age 19, I was placed in a cold, dark holding cell with 9 other women. Most of us were in bad shape, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, bruised from domestic violence, and simply scared to death of what we would experience after entering our designated cellblocks. After almost an entire day of being crammed in that cell, I was finally moved and asked to remove my clothes in front of an intimidating, angry-looking woman and then to...

Integration of TIC in the Justice System [Trauma Informed Oregon]

I have avoided writing this blog because there is so much that needs to be addressed regarding the judicial system and trauma – the theme of this newsletter. But of course, it is this avoidance that I, we must resist because avoidance often perpetuates harm. To talk about the judicial system means we have to talk about racism, systemic oppression, power, economics, and trauma and that can feel overwhelming. Even what we call the system can lead to inaccurate assumptions and connections. For...

Consider alternative before building a bigger jail [Bangor Daily News]

Penobscot County is planning a new, bigger jail. The argument is that the currently overcrowded facility is a risky environment. While roughly 75 new beds are needed to reduce overcrowding, the group is planning to add twice that , just in case. Now seems like a good time to re-imagine prison. Since 2005, the Corrections Alternatives Advisory Committee of Maine has been discussing the need for reform in the state justice system, citing bail reform, providing resources toward reducing...

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