Trauma and Women Behind Bars in America: The Need for a Criminal Justice Makeover

October 7, 2014 6:02 PM

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Trauma and Women Behind Bars in America: The Need for a Criminal Justice Makeover

On September 30, 2014, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation declaring the month of October 2014 National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in recognition of the 20th anniversary of The Violence Against Women Act. As stated, "When women and children are deprived of a loving home, legal protection, or financial independence because they are in fear of their safety, our Nation is denied its full potential." In my view, however, there are a number of other truths affecting women who are victims of domestic violence and related trauma, which reach deep into U.S. jails and prisons.

According to the groundbreaking report by the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW), "Ten Truths That Matter When Working With Justice Involved Women," "Women in the criminal justice system often have experienced abuse and neglect from the individuals closest to them; these exp...

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