Towards a Neurodevelopmentally Aware, Trauma-Responsive Judiciary in Ireland

Scotland and Ireland are much more advanced when it comes to trauma-informed justice than Australia. The video below features Dr Jane Mulcahy, a Research Fellow at the University of Limerick, who presented this talk at the Judicial Education and Training in Twenty-First Century Ireland online conference on 17 September 2021.

She argues there is an urgent need for judicial education and training on the traumatic impact of high adversity in childhood on human functioning, relational ability and social behaviour. In her presentation, adversity includes poverty, disrupted attachment, maternal mental illness, parental separation, imprisonment of a family member, exposure to domestic violence, emotional neglect, multiple complex bereavement, community drug use.

She argues that justice needs to take off the trauma blindfold. Dr Mulcahy’s presentation is rich with key references as well as her own resources such as her podcast which all help to explain the association between trauma and crime and why the justice system need to be trauma-aware and trauma-informed.

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