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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.

Systems-Induced Trauma

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...

Removing Barriers to Success Created by the Criminal Justice System (

For people who have served prison time, the penalties never end. The California-based national nonprofit Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) coined a term to describe what many of these people face: post-conviction poverty. After completing a sentence, and being freed from prison, a formerly convicted individual encounters thousands of restrictions depending on where they live that make it challenging to reintegrate into society. They may not be able to vote, get a driver’s license, or,...

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