Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Adult Addictions, Mental Illness and Crime - Part 2

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Saturday - March 01, 2014.

As mentioned in the previous article on trauma, ACEs and links to crime, addiction, and mental illness, various studies have found that early psychological trauma may actually cause lasting changes in the brain that are connected with addictions, mental illness and aggressive or violent behavior later in life.

What do these changes in the brain actually look like? The Family Policy Council of Washington State created a presentation on "The High Cost of Adverse Childhood Experiences." Here are a few of the slides from that presentation that explain the changes in the chemical and physical development of the brain ("Biological Effects of Abuse & Neglect") that occur with various traumatic experiences during childhood...

Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Adult Addictions, Mental Illness and Crime

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Tuesday - February 11, 2014.

Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Adult Addictions, Mental Illness and Crime

The subject of childhood trauma (often measured as "Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)") and links to substance abuse, mental illness and crime has been getting a lot of attention in the professional criminal justice, mental health and addictions literature over the past few years. In this series of articles, we'll explain ACEs, look at definitions of "trauma", examine some of the relevant research, and what corrections, mental health and addictions professionals need to know.


Adverse Childhood Experiences are when children experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, loss of a parent due to separation, divorce, incarceration, abandonment or death; substance abuse and addiction within the family/household, family dysfunction; depression, mental illness or suicide within the family or household, incarceration of any family/household member, or witnessing violence against their mother or stepmother. 

Mental Health Resources for Clients

on Wednesday - October 23, 2013.

According to the National Reentry Resource Center, "Individuals with mental illnesses are significantly overrepresented in corrections criminal justice settings. Prevalence estimates of serious mental illness in jails are similarly high. In a study of more than 20,000 adults entering five local jails, researchers documented serious mental illnesses in 14.5 percent of the men and 31 percent of the women, which taken together, comprises 16.9 percent of those studied—rates in excess of three to six times those found in the general population.1

Mental health resources for clients can be difficult to find and challenging to access.  Here's a selection of resources that may be useful for RMO service providers working with clients who experience mental health issues:


Brain Injury, Criminal Justice & Reentry - Part 3

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Thursday - August 15, 2013.

According to the Brain Injury Association of PA, when people involved in the criminal justice system have a brain injury, the effects of the brain injury can appear to be a lack of cooperation or disrespect. The client may exhibit:

* failure to respond quickly to directives

* inconsistent attention

* difficulty following directions

* difficulty learning routines

* difficulty expressing needs

* impulsivity and emotional dyscontrol

As a result, these clients are especially in need of connections to supports in the community.

For case managers, parole officers and others who work with clients who may have experience a brain injury, the Brain Injury Association of PA makes the following general recommendations about working effectively with the client: