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Justice Policy Journal - Volume 18, Number 1 – Spring 2021


Addressing the Perils Associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences in Washington State 

By: Shantaé M. Motley

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can have negative and long-lasting effects on health, welfare, and crime. The experiences cover the spectrum from sexual, physical, and mental abuse to parental incarceration. The state of Washington, realizing the consequences and societal costs associated with ACEs, implemented the Revised Code of Washington RCW 70.190, which allows for the prevention of and intervention in adverse childhood experiences. The policy raises awareness and presents systems that should negate the consequences of ACEs through community networks, partnerships, and training. This paper offers an assessment of how well the law has done since its implementation in 1992.


Collaborative Efforts Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health Professionals When Responding to Mental Health Crises in the United States

By: Alessa Juarez, Kendra N. Bowen, and Johnny Nhan

Deinstitutionalization coupled with inadequate and strained community resources in the United States have resulted in many people with mental illness and psychiatric disorders without critical help and in the public. They often experience police encounters that can turn deadly. Injuries and death to both people with mental illness and officers underscore the need for mental health professionals and the police to establish effective and sustained partnerships to ensure the care and safety for this population. This qualitative study draws from interview data from 17 mental health professionals and law enforcement officers working with individuals with mental health needs to identify barriers to obtaining help. Initial findings suggest substance use, homelessness, trauma, and lack of funding are significant barriers. Societal issues and inter-organization factors are discussed with policy implications detailed to combat these barriers.


The Importance of Dynamic Risk Factors for First Time Juvenile Offenders

By: Tammy L. Truijens, Jane M. Tram, and Cassendra E. Caceres-Licos

The Oregon Juvenile Crime Prevention Assessment (JCP; 2006) is used in all Oregon county juvenile justice departments for the assessment of risk. The JCP (2006) incorporates both dynamic and static risk factors. Research from the Netherlands found the importance of static and dynamic factors vary with age. Static risk factors increase in importance for older youth (age 15 and older), and dynamic risk factors are more important for younger youth (age 14 and younger). In this study we were interested in examining whether these findings generalize to juveniles in the United States. Contrary to previous research, we found no significant difference in recidivism using the JCP Static Scale Score for older compared to younger youth. Furthermore, in terms of the JCP Dynamic Scale Score, we found a stronger relation to recidivism among juvenile offenders ages 15 and over, than for juvenile offenders age 14 and younger. Thus, reduction in the number of dynamic risk variables should result in positive change and reduce the risk that a youth will reoffend in the future. Our research findings are encouraging for juvenile justice workers and lend support for current state and federal practices in the United States.

Keywords: ACEs, mental health, police training, risk assessment, trauma-informed care

Posted in Volume 18

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