Juvenile Corrections Training Features ACES Researcher
Vincent Felitti, M.D. co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, addresses Maine Juvenile Corrections workers at a trauma-informed training conference. (Tsukroff photo)
AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Services, in collaboration with its Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and Lewiston-based THRIVE, hosted Dr. Vincent Felitti, M.D., co-principal investigator of the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and Karen Williams, MSSW, delinquency prevention consultant, at a trauma-informed staff training conference June 19-20.
Ms. Williams used neuroscientific research and illustrations to present to over 100 juvenile community corrections officers and facilities workers, regional managers, family members, youth and community-based service representatives how traumatic stress impacts adolescent brain development and influences behavior, and how positive experiences can counter the negative stress effects into young adulthood.
Dr. Felitti used data from the landmark ACES to detail the prevalance in the general population of persons with multiple trauma experiences and the stunning implications for physical and mental health across affected lifetimes. He also explained how identifying and addressing traumatic events has the potential to mitigate the astronomical costs to society associated with unidentified and unadressed multiple traumas. Arabella Perez, Executive Director, explained how the ACES had informed the foundation of THRIVE’s Trauma-Informed Agency Assessment, which has collected and evaluated data on such experiences from children’s behavioral health agencies throughout Maine.
“THRIVE is excited to partner with Maine’s juvenile corrections division,” said Perez, “which is already recognized nationally for its service excellence. We look forward to integrating our trainings and assessments to enhance the trauma-informed, family, youth and cultural aspects of those services.”
“We are so fortunate to have all this expertise to work with as we continue our focus on strengths-based planning as it relates to risk reduction, public safety and the principles of effective intervention,” said Barry Stoodley, Associate Commissioner and Director of Maine’s Juvenile Corrections Services.
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THRIVE trauma-informed trainings, technical assistance and consultation support child-serving providers’ organizational transformation of service delivery to children and youth with serious behavioral health challenges and to their families. THRIVE is funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and by Maine’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services.