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

on Tuesday - July 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

on Monday - June 30, 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.

WHAT ARE "ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES" (ACEs)?

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. 

Faith leaders grapple with big questions about crime, restorative justice and the role of congregations

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Friday - June 27, 2014.

Faith leaders grapple with big questions about crime, restorative justice and the role of congregations

How do crime and the criminal justice system impact victims, offenders, their families and the whole community?

How do shame and stigma prevent us from talking about and addressing the resulting harms?

Are we afraid of those in prison or who have been in prison? What are we afraid of and why?

How do we, as a community, move beyond shame and fear to create a culture of safety and support, and to offer restoration and healing to all those who need it?

These were a few of the challenging questions a group of faith leaders from around Lancaster County grappled with at a recent Healing Communities training in Lancaster . . . 

An accomplishment fourteen years in the making

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Wednesday - June 25, 2014.

An accomplishment fourteen years in the making

Two and a half weeks shy of his 52nd birthday, Orrin Johnson achieved something that was 14 years in the making. He received his GED diploma in a special ceremony at McCaskey East High School, wearing full cap and gown regalia.

"I started working toward my GED back in 2000," Johnson explains. During some difficult years when he was experiencing homelessness, he took GED prep classes at Water Street Rescue Mission and at Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg. Johnson had also spent some time incarcerated at Lancaster County Prison and took GED classes there as well. Over the years, he tried taking the GED tests, sometimes passing, sometimes not. He passed three of them in the mid-2000's, and had two left to go. Then, another incarceration and struggles with addiction set him back . . .