Trauma takes many forms. Responses may be seen in several manifestations. When a juvenile exhibits certain symptoms, they are just that– symptoms. The root causes may be depression and this may be caused by any number of circumstances of surroundings. Frequently the depression results in eating disorders, cutting, alcoholism, drugs, cutting and in its most extreme–suicide.

Today, we are linking you an article by Bobbie Huskey and Paula Tomczak on dealing with youth in the juvenile justice system who have experienced trauma and subsequent psychiatric and substance use problems. The article includes the case study of Shelly M, a young female who was physically and sexually abused and raised by substance abusers and who subsequently experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The article also cites research indicating that youth in the juvenile justice system report PTSD rates as high as 90 percent, and 70 percent of youth in facilities have psychiatric disorders.

Huskey is a trained social work clinician, public policy analyst and strategic planner with 38 years of experience in corrections as a juvenile justice and criminal justice consultant. She is President of Huskey & Associates where she has served as a juvenile and corrections consultant to 33 states, 81 jurisdictions, and to three tribal governments. Paula Tomczak, Ph.D. is on the faculty at Benedictine University, Lisle, IL, and she has served on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Any questions or comments about the article can be directed to Bobbie Huskey at Huskey & Associates 1417 W. Berteau Avenue Chicago, IL 60613 or by emailing or visiting

Evidence of Trauma Article, by Bobbie Huskey, MSW and Paula Tomczak, Ph.D
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