"We need to put to bed forever the sense that children who are born under disadvantaged circumstances are doomed to poor life outcomes. Science is saying that's just not true."
By affecting normal, adolescent development, trauma can cause a multitude of physical, mental, and behavioral consequences. With this, it is perhaps not surprising that researchers have found a significant correlation between juvenile crime and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
For example, in a 2017 study by Hanie Edalati of the Université de Montréal, criminal involvement rates were found to be significantly higher among those with a history of ACEs. Also according to this study, juvenile offenders are not only four times more likely to report an ACE score of 4 or higher, but they are 13 times less likely to report an ACE score of 0.
Additionally, a 2016 study by Matthew D. Moore from the University of Central Arkansas found that ACE scores are highly correlated to a given individual’s LSI-R score— a risk assessment classification designed to accurately predict and determine an offender’s likeliness to re-offend in the future. In other words, ACEs not only increase one’s chances of involvement in the juvenile justice system, but also increase one’s risk for re-offense.
Knowing this, we can spend our time, our money, our resources building even larger prisons and expanding juvenile corrections, or we can finally address what is happening to our kids.
While evidence shows that kids who experience trauma are more likely to engage criminal activity, it doesn't mean they have to. There is always a choice. Learn more about Idaho Youth Ranch can help.