Meditation Helps Those Involved in the Criminal Justice System to Not Re-offend

meditation helps you relax

I just read an article on Meditation being used to help those involved in the criminal justice system.  The authors reviewed multiple studies.  They found that regular meditation reduced re-offending in all categories of offending including sex offenders.  Another article reviewed information about the connection between trauma and externalized behavior problems (harm toward other people) and found a significant correlation between childhood trauma and offending behaviors.

Third and fourth articles on my newsfeed.

There is an active shooter in a grocery store in Collierville, TN. One is reported dead as well as the shooter and there are several reported injuries.

The death of Gabby Petito’s death a homicide.  Authorities are searching for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, for questioning.  Mr. Laundrie was seen being verbally and physically aggressive toward others, including Gabby, on their trip to the Grand Tetons.

When are we going to look seriously at prevention of violence?  A big piece of the violence problem has to do with the maltreatment of children and the failure to protect and provide treatment for abused and neglected children in the US.

Thanks for reading

Dr. kathy

Violence and Mental Illness

youth violence
youth violence

The following short article explores the role of interpersonal violence in establishing power over those with whom we disagree, get one’s needs met, and solve problems.

Using negotiation and interpersonal discourse instead of violence to meet our personal needs or achieve a goal is a skill learned and practiced from the ages of 2-5.  Trembly, et al. In 2005 in their book, Developmental Origins of Aggression, stated that when persons above the age of 5 use aggression toward others to get their needs met, they have not mastered the skills of communication cooperation, and negotiation needed to be used in their interpersonal engagements. The children that have not accomplished these skills are often the victims of childhood abuse and neglect (ACEs, CDC.GOV). What they learn in childhood is that violence is a legitimate means to solve problems and get one’s needs met. Dr. Moffitt established with her research that externalities behavior problems among youth can have a lifelong trajectory (2019).  The research of other research also established that the trajectory can be interrupted through family and youth interventions and effective treatment.

Interpersonal violence accounts for 180,000 deaths and 16 million non-lethal traumatic injuries in emergency departments over the last decade.  In an  introduction to a group of articles in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 1/2/21, Issue 1, Pages 1-5 by Jeffery Swanson proposes that the available data indicates that only 3-5% of those committing interpersonal violence are “mentally Ill.” This introduction uses only 3 major mental illnesses, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Major depression to describe the complexity of mental illness and the need to reassess our understanding of what is mental health and what is mental illness.

The siloing of mental health, addictions, developmental issues, neurodiversity, trauma, criminal justice, child abuse and neglect over the last century have hidden the complexity of the roots of interpersonal violence.  It is in the interactions of mental illnesses and brain disorders that scientists will discover the complexity of the origins of acts of interpersonal violence.

The new terminology which we should be examining and using is relationship and behavioral heath which encompasses mental illness and substance abuse.  It also includes the concepts of conduct disorder in youth and personality disorders in adulthood. These very outdated terms are pejorative misnomers for the effects of childhood trauma on the brains and development of children which last a lifetime when not sufficiently treated.  These misnomers influence us to miss the point when looking at the need for treatment and legal and social interventions to stop the abuse and neglect of children in our society.  Untreated childhood abuse and neglect is where we will find answers to the origins of interpersonal violence.





Trauma informed care for ESPS

Dr. Kathy Speaking
Dr. Kathy Speaking


I shared my new website, with ESPS staff today.  I have just started and I may combine a care2 newsletter with the trauma-informed newsletters for ESPS.  My goal is to create a trauma-informed program for ESPS. I hope others will join in and co-create this program and the newsletters.  I want to combine the newsletters because, in my many years, I have come to the conclusion that much of our work needs to be trauma-informed. It is also easier to make one newsletter than try to manage 2 newsletters.  The website has a blog so we can post ideas, comments, and questions, as well. Everyone is welcome to read and comment.


Dr. Kathy

CARE2 News

Newly released!

How can you tell if a teenager needs more services and supports to help him or her build a healthier life in a quick and validated way? The CARE2 Threat Assessment Clinical Toolbox is ready for release. It has is a short version of the CARE2 and includes 2 scales, one for teen males and one for teen females, There are 13 items on the scale for girls and 16 items on the scale for males. These are items that will be familiar to most providers of services for youth (see below). These scales were cross-validated by Dr.’s Tossey, Venable, and Becker of Salisbury University which is a part of the University of MD. system.

A score of 5 or above indicates the need for additional services and supports. Recommendations of services are found in the Toolbox. There is a form to explain the results to parents or caregivers.

This toolbox can be used in a variety of agencies including Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services, Juvenile Services, inpatient facilities, and group homes. It is easy to use and research-validated.