Criminal Law Research Center Presents CLE on Resilience

Public Defender Services’ Criminal Law Research Center hosted a screening of the film Resilience on October 25, 2019, followed by a discussion of the science behind adverse childhood experiences and resilience for use in mitigation. Abuse, neglect, trauma, and dysfunction in childhood are measured in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, one of the largest studies of its kind. The study was the first to show there are later-life implications impacting physical and emotional well-being due to childhood experiences of trauma. Specifically, heart disease, stroke, intravenous drug use, depression, and early death are consequences that increase with an ACE score of four or more. Adult criminality has also been correlated with scores on the ACE questionnaire, resulting in the need for criminal defendants to have their ACE scores measured and explained to the Court in preparation for sentencing. A sample motion seeking to insert the ACE score questionnaire was made available during the training and is also available for download in the Public Defender Services Motions Bank.

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