Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 665–677 | Cite as

Systemic Self-Regulation: A Framework for Trauma-Informed Services in Residential Juvenile Justice Programs



Most youth detained in juvenile justice facilities have extensive histories of exposure to psychological trauma. Traumatic stress plays a key role in their mental health and behavioral problems and needs, and in their safety and rehabilitation and the security and effectiveness of detention facilities. We provide an overview of the barriers to successful provision of mental health services for youths in juvenile justice facilities, including those involving youth, parents, and juvenile justice residential facility staff and administrators. Next, we discuss the relevance and potential utility of approaching mental health needs using posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more broadly posttraumatic dysregulation, as an organizing framework. Examples of how a posttraumatic dysregulation perspective can enhance juvenile justice residential facility milieus and services are presented, with an overview of traumatic stress intervention models that have shown promise, or potentially could be deployed, in developing and sustaining trauma-informed juvenile justice facilities.


Traumatic stress Posttraumatic stress disorder Juvenile justice Residential programs Adolescence Evidence-based practices 


Author Note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the expertise and collegial support provided in Connecticut by Mr. William Carbone, Dr. John Chapman, Mr. Leo Arnone, Mr. Karl Alston, Ms. Catherine Foley-Geib, Ms. Julie Revaz, and the Court Support Services Division program and administrative staff, in Maine by Dr. Barry Stoodley, Dr. Susan Righthand, Ms. Roxy Hennings, Ms. Renna Hegg, and Ms. Beth Peavey, and the Department of Corrections program and administrative staff, and Dr. Monique Marrow and the Ohio Department of Youth Services program and administrative staff.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child & Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.The Trauma Center at Justice Resource InstituteBrooklineUSA

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