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Law Juvenile Offenders

Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice in the United States

by (author) Judah Oudshoorn

Canadian Scholars' Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Juvenile Offenders, Criminology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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Although most young offenders have experienced some form of trauma, the juvenile justice system in the United States is ill-equipped to deal with the effects of trauma, and its focus on punishment often further traumatizes youth. This text presents a much-needed alternative to the current system, advocating trauma-informed interventions based on principles of healing and restorative justice.

Judah Oudshoorn addresses the context of youth offending by examining both individual trauma—including its emotional, cognitive, and behavioural effects—and collective trauma. The volume tackles some of the most challenging problems facing juvenile justice in the United States today, especially the ongoing cycles of intergenerational trauma caused by patriarchal violence and the over-incarceration of African American, Latino, and Native American youth.

The author deftly demonstrates how a trauma-informed approach to juvenile justice can work toward preventing crime and healing offenders, victims, and communities. Featuring a foreword written by Howard Zehr, case stories from the author’s own work with victims and offenders, questions for reflection, glossaries of key terms, and lists of recommended readings, this engaging text is the ideal resource for students in the field of juvenile justice.

About the author

Judah Oudshoorn is a Professor of Community and Criminal Justice at Conestoga College. He is also a Restorative Justice Mediator with the Correctional Service of Canada, a Sessional Instructor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo, an Editorial Board Member of the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice, and the Editor for restorative justice titles in the Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding series. Professor Oudshoorn has worked in diverse capacities with youth in Toronto and with First Nations people on issues related to residential schools; he is also widely involved in community services that work with men, particularly fathers, on issues of abuse.

Judah Oudshoorn's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“I believe this book will save lives. The author himself is a hero in the truest sense of the word, yet he writes with disarming humbleness about the difficult healing work he does. The book is mighty yet gentle, scholarly yet accessible, rigorous yet deeply personal…. The theory the author offers is deserving of wide readership and contemplation. This book is a perfect example of truly life-changing, loving criminological scholarship.”
— “Michael DeValve, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Fayetteville State University

“This text clearly describes the poor state of youth justice in this country, in a way that points to specific areas for needed change and direction. The trauma-informed approach offered throughout the book helps to synthesize current understandings about evidence-based practices and criminological theories in a very practical manner…. This is facilitated also by the author’s frank and personal style that is needed for such an important topic.”
— “Heath Grant, Department of Law, Police Science & Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

"The author offers a compelling argument that challenges the reader to consider that community healing comes from unveiling the trauma and distress created by the very systems meant to support and protect our youth. This is a challenge to all members of our communities—but especially to the justice community—to build resiliency, foster healing, support accountability, and tear down the walls of injustice. This text reveals a refreshing and pivotal perspective of youth justice that offers a practical approach to reaching youth and addressing the limitations of our system."
—?Cynthia Booth, MA, Coordinator of the Community and Justice Services Program, Cambrian College

Other titles by Judah Oudshoorn