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Incarceration and Trauma

Two recent, and important, reports from the Pew Center on the States called attention to the reality that the United States currently incarcerates more individuals per capita than any other country in the world. The reports document that 1 in 100 U.S. citizens currently are incarcerated in jails and state or federal prisons, and that 1 in 31 U.S. citizens are under some form of correctional control. The latter figure adds probation and parole, along with other forms of community supervision to the proportion.

The relationship between interpersonal trauma and incarceration obviously is complex. The consequences of interpersonal trauma, as we now understand, are far-reaching and are associated with individuals' physical and mental health—many times across the life span. Interpersonal trauma that occurred during childhood is ...

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