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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

The Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care in Reducing Juvenile criminality


One of the key issues I have focused on as a security trainer has been trauma care since 2018. Particularly the role of trauma care in juvenile delinquency. Trauma is a major factor in the development of criminal behaviour among young people, and trauma-informed care can be an effective approach to reducing crime rates. Although the benefits have been effective in adults in my experience as well.


Trauma is defined as any event or series of events that overwhelms an individual's ability to cope and can lead to long-term psychological and emotional distress. Trauma can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, natural disasters, and community violence. Children who experience trauma are at a higher risk of developing a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.


One of the most significant effects of trauma on children is its impact on their behaviour. Traumatised children often exhibit a range of behaviours that are often mistaken for delinquency, including aggression, defiance, and acting out. These behaviours lead to involvement in the juvenile justice system and create a cycle of trauma and delinquency that is difficult to break.


Trauma-informed care is an effective approach to reducing crime rates among young people. Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognises the prevalence of trauma and its impact on individuals and seeks to provide services and support that are sensitive to the needs of traumatised individuals.


There are several key benefits to using trauma-informed care in the context of juvenile justice. First, trauma-informed care can help to identify and address the underlying causes of criminal behaviour. By recognising that trauma is often a contributing factor to criminality, and by providing service and support that address the effects of trauma, security personnel and referred "professionals" help to break the cycle of trauma and criminal behaviour.


Trauma-informed care helps to reduce recidivism rates among juvenile offenders. By providing services and support that are sensitive to the needs of traumatised individuals, front-line service providers like security personnel and eventually juvenile justice professionals can help address the root causes of criminal behaviour, and provide offenders with the tools they need to avoid future involvement in the justice system.


Trauma-informed care helps to create a more compassionate and effective response for younger people. By recognising the impact of trauma on young people, and by providing services and support that are sensitive to their needs, we help to create a more empathetic and supportive system that is better equipped to address the complex needs of juvenile offenders.


There are several key principles of trauma-informed care that can be applied in the context of juvenile engagement. These include:


1. Safety: Trauma-informed care seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for traumatised individuals. In the context of juveniles, this means creating a safe and supportive environment for young people who have experienced trauma and providing services and support that are sensitive to their needs.


2. Trust: Trauma-informed care recognises the importance of building trust with traumatised individuals. In the context of juveniles, this means building trust with young people who have experienced trauma and providing services and support that are trustworthy and reliable.


3. Choice: Trauma-informed care recognises the importance of giving traumatised individuals a sense of control over their lives and personal autonomy. In the context of juveniles, this means giving young people who have experienced trauma a say in their treatment and care and providing them with choices and options that are sensitive to their needs.


4. Collaboration: Trauma-informed care recognises the importance of collaboration and partnership. In the context of juveniles, this means working collaboratively with other professionals and agencies to provide services and support that are sensitive to the needs of traumatized young people and involving young people and their families in the decision-making process.


5. Empowerment: Trauma-informed care seeks to empower traumatised individuals by providing them with the tools and skills they need to manage their symptoms and achieve their personal goals. In the context of juveniles, this means providing young people with the skills they need to avoid future involvement in the justice system and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives.


To implement trauma-informed care in the context of juveniles, there are several key steps that we have implemented. These include:


1. Training: frontline security personnel receive training in trauma-informed care, including the principles of trauma-informed care and the effects of trauma on people.


2. Assessment: frontline security personnel conduct comprehensive profiling and assessments of people who have experienced trauma, to identify their needs and develop individualised treatment-trade plans.


3. Treatment: frontline security personnel provide trauma-informed treatment and support, including initial response, a duty of care, informal counselling, active listening, and other interventions that are sensitive to the needs of traumatised young people.


4. Collaboration: frontline security personnel work collaboratively with other professionals and agencies, including parents, guardians, mental health providers, social workers, and sometimes educators, to provide comprehensive services and support to young people who have experienced trauma.


5. Evaluation: frontline security personnel regularly evaluate and review the effectiveness of trauma-informed care in reducing unacceptable behaviour and improving outcomes for people who have experienced trauma.


The constant exposure to people and young people in particular, surviving the impacts of trauma highlighted the need for trauma-informed care in frontline security personnel engagement. Trauma-informed care helps to identify and address the underlying causes of criminal behaviour, reduce recidivism rates, and create a more compassionate and effective community. By implementing these principles and providing services and support to people who have experienced trauma, we help to break the cycle of trauma and criminality and create better opportunities for our fellow survivors.

From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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