Document

Report
Building Bridges
Through Understanding
the Impacts of Trauma
Presenter: Trudy Gregorie, Senior Director
Justice Solutions, Washington, DC
Discussion Leader: Shannon Wight, Associate Director
Partnership for Safety and Justice,
Portland, OR
Special Guest: Adela Barajas, Director
L.A.U.R.A., Los Angeles, CA
Research Findings (BARJ,
Florida Atlantic University)




4 focus groups held regionally across the
U.S.
9 victims of violent crime & 7 victims of
property crimes
20 juvenile court judges
Allied juvenile professionals (including
public defenders, prosecutors,
corrections professionals, and victim
advocates)
2
Findings Relevant to Victims

For virtually all victims, the juvenile
court/JJS experience was negative

Victims were nearly unanimous in
dissatisfaction with the court process:
 Felt lack of respect & little acknowledgment

Thought victims should be treated as
“clients” of JJS
3
Findings Relevant to Victims

Felt JJS professionals had lack of
understanding about victimization

Reported lack of understanding of court
process & received little information

Most less interested in punishment than
in accountability, especially for restitution

Most expressed strong interest in
offender rehabilitation & offender
treatment programs
Justice Solutions 2005
4
Findings Relevant to Victims




Cited “information about the case” as
most important
Cited “being heard” and “having input”
as equally critical
Very open to more “creative” justice
practices (long as participation is
voluntary)
Thought more creative alternatives to
traditional court processes needed
5
Findings Relevant to Judges

General consensus — victim is client of
the JJS & has some role in juvenile court

Many expressed feelings of helplessness
in responding to victims’ needs (largely
due to lack of coordination)
Unanimously reported low rates of victim
involvement


Some viewed court processes &
management as primary cause of victim
dissatisfaction
6
Findings Relevant Judges



A few felt victims did not belong in court
as they’re incapable emotionally of
rationally participating in the process
Nearly all thought victim access to
reliable information about their cases was
important; generally wanted to increase
openness of court processes
Consensus — improvements needed in
victim notification, restitution,
participation, & victim impact statements
(core victims’ rights)
7
Why Should Juvenile
Justice Care About
Crime Victims?
Why Should Juvenile Justice
Care About Victims?

A lot of common ground:




“Best interests of the child” includes helping
them understand impact on their victim,
community & others
“Best interests of the child” includes helping
them be accountable for the harm they have
caused
Victimizers were often past victims
Addressing victimization issues also impacts
the cycle of violence
9
And What About the Victim?



Felt alienated from juvenile justice
processes
The perceived “cloak of secrecy” was
upsetting
Victims didn’t (and in some cases, still
don’t) understand the juvenile justice
system
10
And From the Perspective of
the Victims’ Rights Field?

Way busy trying to fix the criminal justice
system

Virtually ignored the juvenile justice system until
the early 1990s

Victims’ rights and services in juvenile
justice were, for the most part, non-existent

Juvenile violent crime started rising across
the nation…..
11
12
We Started Paying Attention…

1994: “Report and Recommendations on
Victims’ Rights and Services in the Juvenile
Justice System”


“Victims of crime should not be discriminated
against simply because of the age of their
offenders” (Sharon English, CA Youth Authority)
Began with juvenile corrections, then expanded
to probation and courts
13
We Started Paying Attention…

1996: Restorative justice came along






Offender accountability
Competency development
A “victim-centered” approach to juvenile justice
1997: Office for Victims of Crime and National
Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges
partnership
1999: BARJ research
2005: “Impact of Crime on Victims” project
sponsored by OVC, USDOJ
14
Adolescent Victims and Nonvictims
of Violence: Percentage Expected To
Experience Adult Problem Outcomes
Posttraumatic stress disorder
Problem drug use
Property offending
Violent offending
Nonvictim in adolescence
Victim in adolescence
Domestic violence offending
Domestic violence victimization
Violent victimization
0
10
20
30
Percentage
From Menard, 2002
40
50
The Mental Health Impact
(National Survey of Adolescents)




Major depression
Suicide ideation
Higher rates of drug/alcohol consumption,
and a greater likelihood of having alcoholand other drug-related problems.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (6.2 times
more likely to develop PTSD than nonvictims)
Sexual Assault and Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder
(National Survey of Adolescents)
Lifetime
prevalence of
PTSD
Adolescent
males, sexually
assaulted
Adolescent
males, nonsexually
assaulted
Adolescent
females,
sexually
assaulted
Adolescent
females, nonsexually
assaulted
Lifetime
Prevalence of
Substance Use/
Abuse
Lifetime Prevalence of
Delinquent
Acts
28.2%
34.4%
47.2%
5.4%
9%
16.6%
29.8%
27.5%
19.7%
7.1%
5.4%
4.8%
The Cycle of Violence

“When children grow up in violent homes,
they must find a way to preserve a sense of
trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety
in a situation that is unsafe, control in a
situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable,
power in a situation of helplessness.”
-- Dr. Judith Herman
18
19
Concerns Unique to Victims of
Juvenile Offenders




Shock, vulnerability and trauma may be
enhanced due to the age of the offender
Victim vulnerability may be increased when
the victim knows the juvenile offender
Victims of juvenile offenders may
“generalize” about youth.
May hesitate to report feelings of fear, or
articulate the need for protection
20
Concerns Unique to Victims of
Juvenile Offenders (cont.)




Confidentiality protections contribute to
victim fears and frustration
Likelihood of receiving full restitution
decreases with the age of the offender
Limited participatory rights for victims
Parental liability
21
22
Important Considerations for
Victim Impact

Victims are asked often to participate in justice
processes when they are likely to be most
traumatized:





At the crime scene
Police lineups
Facing the alleged offender in court
Sentencing hearings
Parole hearings
23
Important Considerations for
Victim Impact (cont.)

The justice process can be very
intimidating for victims


Often don’t understand their role, and what is going
to happen
Victims basic expectations:



“Being treated with respect.”
“Being acknowledged as someone who has been
hurt by crime.”
“Receiving information about the case.”
24
Common Immediate Trauma
Reactions: During the Crime




Shocked, surprised, terrified
Have feelings of unreality; think it can’t be
happening
Have high levels of physiological anxiety
(e.g., rapid heart rate, rapid breathing)
Have cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g.,
feel helpless and terrified)
25
Common Short-term
Trauma Reactions





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

High anxiety
Preoccupation with the crime
May or may not look distressed
Anger
Disturbed concentration
Concerns about safety
Sleep disturbances
Concerns about who to tell
Concerns about being believed, and not being
blamed
26
Immediate- and Short-term Trauma
Reactions: Examples of Distress





Preoccupation with the crime
Concerned about their safety and that of their
loved ones
Concerned that they will not be believed, and
be blamed
Negative changes in belief systems
Chronic trauma evokes feelings of never
knowing when the next attack will occur
27
Long-term Trauma Reactions


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Major depression
Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts
Use/abuse of alcohol and other drugs
Ongoing problems with relationships
Anxiety disorders
Changing view of the world as “a safe place”
Increased risk of further victimization
28
Other Long-term Trauma
Reactions

Acute Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
29
Theory and Victim Trauma




Stress theory: developmental,
chronic/occupational, and acute
Classical conditioning
Avoidance (sometimes including avoidance
of helping professionals)
Generalizability (about persons and events
that remind them of the offender and crime)
30
Victim Trauma Theory
Classical Conditioning


Occurs when a neutral stimulus is paired with
a stimulus that produces a particular
response
Violent crime victimization is a “real life”
classical conditioning experience – the attack
is an unconditioned stimulus that produces
negative emotions (which are “conditioned
stimuli”)
31
Possible Conditioned Stimuli





Characteristics of the assailant
Characteristics of the crime setting
Seeing the assailant in court
Testifying about the details of the crime
Even helping professionals can evoke
negative emotions in the victim
32
Victim Trauma Theory
Avoidance Behavior


This is the most common response to
crime-related conditioned stimuli
Victims may avoid contact with and try to
escape from situations that remind them of
the crime, and they may:



Not want to testify
Not return phone calls
Not respond to contacts from the court or
probation agency
33
Victim Trauma Theory
Attribution Theory

Individuals have a compelling need to
understand their experience:


They are constantly interpreting and
attaching meaning to environmental events
How victims view the criminal event, and
how the event is interpreted by the justice
system, contribute to a cognitive coping
process that can help them regain a sense
of control in their lives
34
Victim Trauma Theory
Equity Theory

Focuses on:




The amount of harm suffered by victims
The extent to which they are angry and distressed
The degree to which they have been treated in an
inequitable fashion
Can be addressed by:



Fair treatment
Referrals to services
The degree to which the assailant is held accountable
35
REMEMBER:



Not all victims endure significant trauma in
the aftermath of crime
The range of reactions often depends upon
pre- and post-victimization factors, and
factors related to the crime
An immediate and ongoing sensitive
response always benefits victims!
36
Most Serious
Crimes
Heavy
Baggage
Long Term
Counseling
Short-Term
Counseling & Support
Referrals to:
- Victim Assistance
- Crisis Intervention
- Other supportive services
Information About:
- Resources to help (services & rights)
- Options for help(services & rights)
Less
Serious
Crimes
Immediate Empathic Response
2010 DCVAA
Light
37
Baggage
Types of Crime Victims Most Likely to
Need Mental Health Counseling



Pre-victimization Factors:
No consistent finding with respect to
demographic characteristics
Prior victimization history increases trauma
following a new crime
History of prior mental health problems
increases trauma following a new crime,
particularly history of PTSD or major
depression
38
Types of Crime Victims Most Likely to
Need Mental Health Counseling
Crime Factors:
 Life threat and injury increases risk
 Violent crimes vs. property crimes
Post victimization Factors:
 Poor social support
 Degree of exposure to the justice system
39
In Addition to the Mental Health
Impact of Victimization:
There can also be:

Physical impact

Financial impact

Spiritual impact
40
The Physical Impact of
Victimization





Physical injuries
(from minor to
catastrophic)
Insomnia
Appetite disturbance
Lethargy
Headaches
Stomach aches
 Muscle tension
 Nausea
 Decreased libido
(Physical injuries
often affect
emotional and
psychological
responses)

41
The Financial Impact of
Victimization



Costs of medical
and mental health
services
Repairing property
or replacing
possessions
Higher insurance
premiums



Participating in the
justice system (child
care, attending the
trial, etc.)
Taking time off from
work
Funeral or burial
expenses
42
The Spiritual Impact of
Victimization

Questioning one’s faith:





Feelings of anger, hatred and/or betrayal
Is there a “just God”?
Reliance on one’s faith to cope
Search for spiritual answers to deal with grief
and trauma
Addressing specific faith issues such as
“forgiveness”
43
The Spiritual Impact of
Victimization (cont.)

Multi-faiths must be recognized and
respected:






Christianity
Judaism
Islam
Buddhism
Hinduism
Native American

With efforts to understand basic premises of
each faith
44
Victims’ Most Salient Needs




Crisis response
Information about
victim compensation
Information about JJSsupported and
community-based
victim services
Description of JJS
“jargon”




Information about
JJS & processes
relevant to victims
Information about
case & offender
status
Guidance in VIS
Information about
offender’s FLOs
45
Basic Crisis Intervention with
Crime Victims




Make contact with the victim
Provide information regarding what will
happen next and why
Interview the victim and identify his/her
needs resulting from the victimization
Develop a plan of action to meet those
needs
46
Interview Victim for Basic
Assessment of Needs:




Type of crime and/or other victimizations
Immediate and long-term emotional impact,
as well as any psychological disturbances
(e.g., nausea, headaches, and insomnia)
Immediate and lasting physical injuries
Financial losses (and whether or not these
were recovered)
47
Interview Victim for Basic
Assessment of Needs (cont’d):




Experience with criminal/juvenile justice
system
Need for assistance in overcoming problems
created by the crime
Awareness of existing service agencies; use
of and satisfaction with their services
Availability and helpfulness of informal
support networks
48
Practical Application for
Victim Outreach

Recognize each victim as an individual who
was harmed by a crime:



Each case and each victim are unique
Have a basic understanding of victim trauma
so you can make referrals, if needed
Help the victim identify basic needs
49
Practical Application for
Victim Outreach (cont.)



Explain the justice process and, to the degree
possible, what is going to happen
Explain and validate the victim’s important role
in justice processes
Provide assistance with completing victim
compensation applications
50
Practical Application for
Victim Outreach (cont.)



Notify victims of the case and offender status,
and location of the offender
Solicit victim impact statements that address
mental health and impact issues
Identify any needs or concerns related to
personal safety:


Actual and perceived needs/concerns
Provide referrals for safety planning
51
Practical Application for
Victim Outreach (cont.)

Help the victim document financial losses:


Make sure that the offender’s financial/legal
obligations are recognized by the court
Be prepared to provide referrals for victim
assistance, counseling, and other
supportive services
52
Practical Application for
Victim Outreach (cont.)

Collaboration among local agencies and
community-based victim services is essential!

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Identify and fill gaps in assistance
Avoid duplication of services
Create a justice “system” that truly is one
53
Core Victims’ Rights:
Notification


Considered the “threshold” right
The five “W’s” of notification:

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
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
Who?
Where?
When?
Why?
What are my rights and services?
Follow-on is critical
54
Core Victims’ Rights:
Victim Impact Statements


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

Put a face to the victim
Give “the other side to the story”
Help victims focus on losses and problems
they have endured
Make victims feel like “the system cares
about them”
Helpful in offender case management
55
Model Victim Impact Statement

Describe offense and
impact

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

Emotional impact
Physical impact
Financial impact
Safety concerns
(including protective
orders)





What do you want to
happen now?
Victim/offender
programming
Recommendations for
community service
Anything else?
Notification options
56
VIS
Exercise
Core Victims’ Rights:
Protection



Actual versus perceived fears
Identify safety and security concerns
through victim impact statements
What can we do to address these
concerns?


Referrals to safety planning
Victim support referral
58
And the Challenges of
Confidentiality…….




Not “what can’t we tell the victim?,” but “what
can we tell the victim?”
Important how this information is imparted
Relates to victims’ feelings of safety and
security
Figure out what victims want to know:

Offer insights into programming for youthful
offenders
59
Core Victims’ Rights:
Restitution



Restitution must be a priority and first in
line of legal/financial obligations
Not punishment, but accountability
“The offender can’t afford to pay….” (but
can the victim afford it?)
60
Restitution and Victims’
Concerns






Failure to enforce contributes to victims’
frustration with the system
Sentimental losses = emotional losses
Some losses end victims’ “connections to the
world”
“Minor” losses may be major
Tenet of offender accountability
Increases victim satisfaction
61
Core Victims’ Rights:
Victim Compensation



Victims of violent crime are eligible for
compensation to help pay for costs
associated with the crime
Nationwide, one-third of compensation claims
are for child abuse victims
Juvenile justice professionals need to advice
victims about compensation:

www.nacvcb.org
62
Mission of Juvenile Court on Victims’
Rights (Pima County, AZ)

“To treat victims with fairness, respect, and
dignity, and keep them from intimidation,
harassment, or abuse throughout the juvenile
justice process:



To promote communication between victims
and the Court.
To ensure that victims are informed of their
rights & given opportunity to exercise their
rights.
To help protect victims from any further loss or
injury.”
63
NCJFCJ Nine Critical Elements for a
Comprehensive Victim Service
Program
1. Complete understanding of state statutes
2. Complete understanding of the operations
of juvenile/family court
3. Knowledge of whom is responsible for
implementation of statutes
4. ID personnel who support victims’ rights
64
NCJFCJ Nine Critical Elements for a
Comprehensive Victim Service
Program
5. Determine role of VSPs
6. Referral of victims to VSPs
7. Development of services for victims &
training for staff
8. Participation in various committees
9. Program development & program
evaluation
65
Creative Dispositions

Restorative community service





Visible and viable
Partnerships with victim service agencies
Examine every community service placement for
applications to victims
Seek opportunities to celebrate victims’ rights and
educate youthful offenders
“Hours served” versus “years served” as an
indicator of success
66
Other Creative Dispositions

Offender apologies




Re-thinking the process
Policies that address victims’ concerns
Victim-sensitive correspondence and involvement
Classes for offenders
67
Victim/Offender Programming




Victim impact panels and victim awareness
classes
Victim-offender mediation or dialogue
Community conferencing
Opportunities through juvenile offender
reentry initiatives


Victim-centered approaches
Victim involvement from the beginning….
68
Other Creative Approaches




Victim Advisory Councils
Victim satisfaction surveys
Focus groups of crime victims and juvenile
justice professionals
Partnerships with victim service
professionals
69
Partnering with Victim
Services




Continual cross-training
Development of victim information
resources
Community service that benefits victims
and those who serve them
Identifying victim services:


Office for Victims of Crime On-line Directory
www.ovc.ncjrs.org/findvictimservices/
www.navaa.org (statewide links)
70
Victim Assistance Programs:
Community-based







Rape crisis centers
Domestic violence programs and shelters
Homicide support groups
Drunk driving victim assistance programs
Children’s Advocacy Centers
Elder protection programs
Interfaith-based victim assistance programs
71
Victim Assistance Programs:
System-based







Law enforcement
Prosecution
Courts
Probation
Parole
Corrections
Attorneys’ General
offices


State victim
compensation
programs
State VOCA
administrators who
oversee Federal
funding for victim
assistance
72
Victim Assistance Programs:
State Coalitions and Associations







General victim assistance coalitions
Sexual assault
Domestic violence
Staff offices of MADD
State associations of victim/witness
professionals
State offices of Adult Protective Services
State offices of Child Protective Services
73
Victim Assistance Programs: National
Coalitions & Associations



Address a wide range of crime victim,
criminal justice, juvenile justice and public
safety issues
Many have toll-free information and referral
numbers
Most have web sites with helpful information
for victims
74
Tips for Partnering




Find a good “gatekeeper” to victim services
Learn about key players and meet with
them
Work with coalitions
Engage victims/survivors and advocates in
a serious advisory capacity
75
Why Should Juvenile Justice
Care About Victims?

Victims do care!





They care about prevention
They care about the offender’s future
They want to have input into what
happens to offenders
They need & have a right to know about
their risks
Inclusion of victims provides basis for
excellent public relations & community
outreach opportunities
76
Why Should Juvenile Justice
Care About Victims?


When victims are treated with respect &
afforded basic rights, relationship
becomes one of advocate as opposed to
adversary
When victim connections are made, they
are more likely to:



Report crimes to police
Attend hearings and proceedings
Be open to less prohibitive dispositions
77
Why Should Juvenile Justice
Care About Victims?

Victims add to the JJS in that they can:

Be volunteers

Advise on victims’ rights & services

Provide guidance in program development

Assist with legislative initiatives

Help with fundraising for victim-related
programming
78
Lessons Learned?…..




Doesn’t have to be “us and them”
Victims should be viewed as an opportunity,
and not just an obligation
Proactive involvement of victims and
advocates lessens the likelihood of reactive
involvement
The juvenile justice system has, in many
jurisdictions, risen to the occasion of victim
assistance
79
Lessons Learned?…..
“Children have never been any
good at listening to their elders,
but they have never failed to
imitate them.”
- James Baldwin
80
Justice Solutions Resources
www.justicesolutions.org

“Articles and Publications”






Victim Impact Statement Resource Package
Sample Conditions of Community Supervision
Documenting Losses for Restitution
Restorative Community Service
Offender Apology Package
Office for Victims of Crime, USDOJ
www.ovc.gov
81
For More Information……
Trudy Gregorie
[email protected]
82
Interactive Discussion
Discussion Leader: Shannon Wight, Associate Director
Partnership for Safety and Justice,
Portland, OR
Special Guest: Adela Barajas, Director
L.A.U.R.A., Los Angeles, CA

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