Being Trauma Informed

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"91% of women in Scottish prisons report both childhood and adulthood trauma, 51% reported they had been sexually abused." (Karatzias et al, 2017)

"1 in 7 Scottish adults report experiencing four or more adverse events (including traumatic experiences such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse) before age 18"  (Scottish Health Survey, 2019)

With statistics like those above, it's no suprise that trauma-informed practice must be the way forward. Changing systems takes time but the more you can do, as an individual, to increase your awareness of trauma-informed practice, the better the outcomes will be for your service users.

The National Trauma Transformation Programme provides access to evidence-based training, tools and guidance to support trauma-informed and responsive systems, organisations and workforces in Scotland.

If you are working at a leadership level within your organisation, their Roadmap for Creating Trauma-Informed and Responsive Change is essential reading.

Clinks has developed an evidence review of trauma-informed work with people in contact with the criminal justice system, which explores the impact of trauma in the context of the criminal justice system, explains the core values behind trauma-informed services and defines the three stages to becoming trauma-informed in your practice. It then examines the emerging evidence of the impact of trauma-informed care with people in contact with the criminal justice system in the UK.

The evidence review calls for criminal justice services that display three stages:

  • Trauma informed: ‘what we know’ – the knowledge about adversity and trauma and its effects on individuals, communities, and society
  • Trauma responsive: ‘what we do’ – creation of an environment for healing and recovery
  • Trauma specific: ‘what services we provide’ – providing actual therapeutic approaches that focus on trauma to help healing and recovery

Consideration of each of these stages within your own role will help you to challenge the status quo and consider the changes that will lead to safer, more effective services.

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024


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