Healing Invisible Wounds: Why Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Children Makes Sense

Healing Invisible Wounds: Why Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Children Makes Sense

The Justice Policy Institute has issued a brief examining the relationship between childhood trauma and youth justice system involvement. The brief, Healing Invisible Wounds: Why Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Children Makes Sense (15 pages, PDF), notes that of the more than 93,000 children who are currently incarcerated nationwide, between 75 percent and 93 percent have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse, war, community violence, neglect, and maltreatment, which can have long-term effects such as emotional problems and negative impacts on youth brain development. According to the brief, the U.S. justice system does not meet the needs of traumatized youth and may in fact increase trauma through its use of incarceration. Indeed, youth who receive treatment in their communities have better outcomes than those placed in correctional facilities, which indicates the need for trauma exposure to be considered in youth placement decisions.