A young boy lookign worried

Article on adoption of a trauma-informed approach for young people in custody

An article exploring the adoption of a trauma-informed approach for young people in custody, written by Nina Vaswani (Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice) and Sally Paul (the School of Social Work and Social Policy), has been published in the prestigious Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

‘It's Knowing the Right Things to Say and Do’: Challenges and Opportunities for Trauma‐informed Practice in the Prison Context’ considers the views of over 200 prison staff on the adoption of a trauma‐informed approach for young people in custody.

Although the relevance of trauma‐informed practice (TIP) across the workforce, especially in a trauma‐laden environment such as prison, has gained credence, not much has been documented about the practicalities of responding to trauma within custodial institutions where the potential for retraumatisation and the tension between care and control are complicating factors.

The article identifies a gap between vision and practice and, while acknowledging that prisons can become more ‘trauma‐aware’, disputes the notion that true TIP is possible within current custodial contexts.

This article is part of CYCJ’s and the school’s work, together with Barnardo’s Scotland, on supporting the move towards a trauma-informed workforce by improving understanding of trauma, loss and bereavement, as summarised in this recent Key Messages document.