Trauma-Informed Courts: A Review and Integration of Justice Perspectives and Gender Responsiveness
McKenna, N. C., & Holtfreter, K. (2020). Trauma-Informed Courts: A Review and Integration of Justice Perspectives and Gender Responsiveness. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 1-21. Doi: 10.1080/10926771.2020.1747128
20 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 17, 2020
As researchers and practitioners begin to understand the complex relationship between victimization and offending, there is an increased need to address prior trauma in the court context. This includes in court processes themselves, as well as through offender supervision conditions in the form of treatment referrals. While not all offenders have been victims themselves, trauma-informed practices recognize the possibility of trauma history in the lives of court-involved individuals. Trauma-informed practices seek to address abuse and trauma and respond in a person-centered and supportive manner. When implemented in juvenile courts, there is potential for disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. This review seeks to understand how trauma-informed processes—already in use in juvenile courts—can be incorporated into adult courts to better address offender risks and needs, with the goal of facilitating rehabilitation. In doing so, we assess the extent to which extant justice perspectives (i.e., procedural justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, and restorative justice) and principles of gender-responsiveness are compatible with trauma-informed practices in adult courts. Implications for theory, future research, and practice are discussed.
Keywords: trauma-informed practices, adult courts, procedural justice, gender-responsive treatment, abuse-to-prison pipeline
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