ACES: Deepening Therapeutic Jurisprudence Practice in Courts

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The ISTJ Blog

This blog is a first in a series of three, over the coming weeks, in which we will explore how an understanding of the impacts of childhood trauma can improve the effectiveness of judges and court programs.

Magistrate Pauline Spencer writes…

The wonderful thing about Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ) is that it invites us to draw from the social sciences to improve how we conduct our courts and court programs and how we carry out our judicial roles.  Because various fields of study – psychology, criminology, social work and the like – are constantly evolving so to can TJ practices.

One such field study is the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (the ACE Study).  This study was conducted by the American organisations Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People were recruited to the study in 1995-7 and their health outcomes were tracked over time.

The study showed a clear…

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