Adversity takes many forms: childhood neglect, physical assault, and sexual abuse; heightened exposure to domestic, neighborhood, and physical violence; and structural racism. These traumatic experiences compound to adversely impact men in our society, especially men of color. When left unaddressed, these experiences can have a long term negative impact on men’s mental and physical health, and increase their risk for exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior later in life.
The Research & Action Center at Impact Justice aims to undertake a groundbreaking re-examination of the lived experience of men incarcerated for violent offenses. Through a multi-site research project, the RAC will explore and document the prevalence of childhood trauma among violent offenders.
We must address trauma as part of a larger strategy to reduce the number of people incarcerated in the United States and ensure access to trauma-informed services for those in need. The RAC’s research will introduce the field of justice reform to a new narrative — one that intentionally includes men and trauma and adds new and important dimensions to how society views incarcerated men.