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Creating a Trauma-Informed Criminal Justice System for Women: Why and How

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages
This report examines the need for a trauma-informed criminal justice system for women.
Increasing evidence has shown that a significant majority of women involved with the criminal justice system are trauma survivors with histories of rape, sexual assault, or childhood sexual abuse. Due to the lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment programs in many criminal justice systems, these women continue to cycle through the system without receiving the help they need. This report discusses the need for instituting trauma-informed criminal justice systems in order to better serve these women. The report discusses the sequential intercept model which identifies five intercept points at which women may come into contact with the criminal justice system. These points are law enforcement and emergency services, initial detention/initial court hearings, jails/courts and specialty prisons, reentry to community from jail/prison, and community corrections (parole or probation). The report discusses the opportunities available at each of the intercepts for improving the interactions between female offenders and the criminal justice system. 1 table, 1 chart and 4 references