Trauma Training for Criminal Justice Professionals

The GAINS Center offers training that helps educate criminal justice professionals about the impact of trauma and how to develop trauma-informed responses.

SAMHSA recognizes that the majority of people who have behavioral health issues and are involved with the justice system have significant histories of trauma and exposure to personal and community violence. Involvement with the justice system can further exacerbate trauma for these individuals. Traumatic events can include physical and sexual abuse, neglect, bullying, community-based violence, disaster, terrorism, and war. These experiences can:

  • Challenge a person’s capacity for recovery
  • Pose significant barriers to accessing services
  • Result in an increased risk of interacting with the criminal justice system

Trauma-informed care is an approach used to engage people with histories of trauma. It recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma can play in people’s lives. Trauma-informed criminal justice responses can help to avoid re-traumatizing individuals. This increases safety for all, decreases the chance of an individual returning to criminal behavior, and supports the recovery of justice-involved women and men with serious mental illness. Partnerships across systems can also help link individuals to trauma-informed services and treatment.

Trauma-Informed Response Training

The GAINS Center has developed training for criminal justice professionals to raise awareness about trauma and its effects. “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses” is a one-day training for criminal justice professionals to:

  • Increase understanding and awareness of the impact of trauma
  • Develop trauma-informed responses
  • Provide strategies for developing and implementing trauma-informed policies

This highly interactive training is specifically tailored to community-based criminal justice professionals, including police officers, community corrections personnel, and court personnel.

Search for a trainer in your area or contact the GAINS Center about holding a training.

If you are a trainer, access the Trauma Trainer login.

Additional SAMHSA Resources

  • SAMHSA is one of the leading agencies addressing the impact of trauma and violence on individuals, families, and communities. SAMHSA leads federal efforts to promote trauma-informed approaches to health care through campaigns, technical assistance, and other resources.
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) works to transform mental health care for children and adolescents affected by trauma throughout the country. NCTSI achieves its goal by improving the quality of community-based trauma treatment and services and increasing access to effective, trauma-focused interventions.
  • The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint (NCTIC) offers consultation and technical assistance to stimulate and support interest in developing approaches for eliminating the use of seclusion, restraints, and other coercive practices. It further develops the knowledge base related to the implementation of trauma-informed approaches, consistent with SAMHSA’s conceptual framework for trauma and trauma-informed practice, in publicly funded systems and programs.
Last Updated: 08/19/2015