Jun 15, 2015

TED: "How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime"

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, pediatrician and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco's Bayview district, discusses the effects of childhood trauma on brain development and lifetime health outcomes. Dr. Burke Harris advocates screening for childhood trauma using the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) scoring tool and providing prevention, early intervention, and treatment services.

According to SAMHSA, research shows a strong graded (i.e., dose-response) relationship between ACEs and a variety of substance use-related behaviors, including:
  • Early initiation of alcohol use (Dube et al, 2006)
  • Problem drinking behavior into adulthood (Dube et al, 2002)
  • Prescription drug use (Anda et al, 2008)
  • Lifetime illicit drug use, ever having a drug problem, and self-reported addiction (Dube et al, 2003) 

Link to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris' TED talk.

Jun 8, 2015

TED: "How we cut youth violence in Boston by 79 percent"

Rev. Jeffrey Brown discusses the "Boston Miracle," a process through which the city experienced a 79% decline in violent crime in the 1990s.

Link to Rev. Brown's TED talk.

Jun 4, 2015

SF Veterans Justice Court featured on PBS Newshour

From Justice for Vets website:

PBS Newshour Brings Viewers Inside San Francisco Veterans Treatment Court

... PBS Newshour [brings] viewers face to face with the staff and participants of the San Francisco Veterans Treatment Court.

The nearly 8 minute segment profiled a Gulf War veteran currently enrolled in the program and presented a comprehensive look at how Veterans Treatment Courts connect veterans with a myriad of services, from in-patient treatment to housing assistance.

“Our goal is to find an outcome which will both prevent recidivism, keep the public safe, keep the victims from being re-victimized, but also deal with the person’s background and the reasons he that he committed the violent conduct that we were just addressing,” said San Francisco Veteran Treatment Court judge Jeffrey Ross. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon emphasized his strong support for the program, saying “If you’re talking about people that have severe trauma from being on the battlefield and may be self-medicating themselves, these are things that the criminal justice system cannot fix unless we bring other people on board.”

Jun 2, 2015

San Francisco Chronicle: "S.F. program to give ex-cons rooms to improve"

As featured in The Chronicle on May 26, at least 80 people participating in the San Francisco Superior Court's collaborative courts will receive transitional housing through a $600,000 Judicial Council grant. By helping offenders with mental illness and substance use disorders secure housing, the Court is working with its justice and community partners to keep individuals out of the criminal justice system and to increase public safety in San Francisco.
By Heather Knight
As Megan Filly, Deputy Press Secretary, Superior Court of California, looks on, Krista Gaeta, Deputy Director or Tenderloin Housing Clinic, enters a room at Drake Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, May 18, 2015. Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

As Megan Filly, Deputy Press Secretary, Superior Court of California, looks on, Krista Gaeta, Deputy Director or Tenderloin Housing Clinic, enters a room at Drake Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, May 18, 2015.  
(Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle)

Several dozen good-sized studio apartments with new kitchenettes, furnishings and flat-screen televisions will soon be available in the heart of San Francisco — and in today’s frothing real estate market, they could probably fetch $1,500 a month or more.

But these apartments in a spruced-up single-room-occupancy hotel in the Tenderloin neighborhood will not be part of the rental listings on Craigslist. Instead, they’re reserved for a perhaps surprising population: people who have committed crimes.

The apartments are part of a pioneering move by San Francisco’s Superior Court and Adult Probation Department to help people convicted of crimes find success outside the criminal court system rather than cycle in and out of jail.

Both agencies are partnering with the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which manages more than 1,600 supportive housing units in the city, to provide free, temporary housing to people who have been convicted of low-level crimes and people on probation for more serious crimes with the goal of finding them permanent places to live within a year. Case managers will also be teamed with the residents to help them address alcohol or drug addictions or other issues that may have contributed to their criminal activity.

“This is a program we’re very excited about because it’s serving the needs of people in our programs and people in our community,” said Superior Court Presiding Judge John Stewart.

Click here to read the full article.