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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Project...Continued

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2002
10 pages
This document describes the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Project in Pennsylvania.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can afflict survivors of traumatic, life-threatening events. The three categories of PTSD are intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal. The project was developed in an effort to respond to the needs of traumatized girls in the State’s juvenile justice system through treatment, education, and training. The project is guided by a diverse group of volunteers called the PTSD Project Implementation Workgroup. The group has been recruited from a variety of disciplines and fields--child welfare, clinical treatment, and community-based social services as well as juvenile justice and corrections. The project is responsible for the development of the small-group PTSD treatment curriculum now being used to help girls at residential placement facilities throughout the State. It has launched an ongoing effort to train every detention worker in the State to recognize and deal sensitively with PTSD victims. Traditional methods of preserving order and asserting authority in detention centers may backfire with female detainees that suffer from PTSD. The project has raised PTSD awareness in thousands of juvenile probation officers, police officers, trial judges, correctional workers, and others that come in contact with delinquent girls. A manual of psycho-education exercises for teaching relaxation, stress management, anger management, and other coping skills is being put together and tested for small groups of residents in detention settings. The PTSD treatment curriculum for girls in residential placement introduces girls to what is known about PTSD, its causes and effects, and teaches them practical techniques for dealing with those effects. One of the facilities participating in the piloting of the PTSD treatment curriculum is one that deals with boys. Although the underlying traumas tend to be different, the boys are responding to the project.

Date Published: October 1, 2002