Trauma is prevalent in a significant portion of the United States. Individuals experiencing incarceration experience substantially higher rates of trauma than the general population. 75% of the prison population has experienced 4 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Anda et al., 2022). There is a gap in knowledge of how effective current trauma interventions are in prisons, and evaluations for these programs are lacking. This study sought to evaluate existing trauma interventions used in prisons for their effectiveness by conducting a scoping review. PsychINFO and PubMed were two databases used to find research. After reviewing the literature, a screening process was used based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. 21 total articles were analyzed in this scoping review, including 14 from PsychINFO and 7 from PubMed. Existing interventions that were found and evaluated included individual therapy, group therapy, exposure therapy, gender-specific programs, and peer support programs. According to existing research, individual therapy is more effective than group therapy for this population. Additionally, these programs are designed to teach individuals who are incarcerated how to cope with their trauma, but often do not address the root of the issue or all the trauma one may have experienced in their lifetime. Unaddressed trauma is costly to society, resulting in loss of productivity, and increased healthcare and law enforcement costs. Furthermore, without intervention, individuals with trauma are more likely to experience physical and mental health conditions. Based on the results found, it is recommended that trauma-informed care be implemented in prisons throughout the United States through federal or state policy changes.
Hughes, Faith, "A Scoping Review Examining the Effectiveness of Trauma Interventions in Prison Populations" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 499.