Screening & Assessment for Trauma in Drug Courts

This presentation addresses the need for trauma screening of justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders. Drug courts operate using different programs and procedures from mental health courts. Drug courts may not employ standardized methods for evaluating the mental health of justice-involved individuals. A trauma-informed court will increase the safety of individuals, avoid re-traumatization, make appropriate referrals, and decrease recidivism.

Trauma is pervasive and has significant impacts on an individual’s life and well-being. Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that cause physical or emotional harm to an individual. Individuals with trauma experience long-lasting adverse effects on their physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. In a jail-diversion study, 96 percent of women had lifetime trauma experiences, and 89 percent of men had lifetime trauma experiences.

Presented by Chanson Noether and Lisa Callahan, Ph.D., this presentation is a valuable resource for law enforcement officers, probation officers, booking officers, and court officials. Implementing appropriate trauma screening programs for justice-involved people ensures they receive treatment, and their trial is conducted with recognition of their trauma.

This resource was first shared in 2013.

This resource was first shared in 2013.

(Presentation, PDF, 601 KB)