Understanding the Trauma Treatment Needs of Justice-Involved Women

Women of childbearing age comprise the fastest growing segment of criminal justice-involved adults going to, and releasing from, prisons. Many justice-involved women have extensive histories of interpersonal violence victimization. More than half of women releasing from prison have minor aged children. Without appropriate interventions and the supports needed, justice-involved women and their children are at risk for poor outcomes. Untreated trauma, mental illnesses, and substance use disorders leave justice-involved women at risk of revictimization or perpetrating violence against their children. A dearth of trauma-informed evidence-based interventions exists for justice-involved women. This study provides a critical first step in fill that gap in knowledge.


• Identify all agencies in St. Louis City/County that serve justice-involved women
• Determine if any of these agencies provide trauma-informed services to these women
• Assess practitioners’ awareness and perceptions of trauma-informed services
• Assess justice involved women’s perceptions of and need for trauma-informed services
• Investigate existing trauma-informed program models that could be modified to service justice-involved women of child bearing age.

Principal Investigators:
Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD
Tonya Edmond, PhD

Center for Disease Control and Prevention


Carrie Pettus-Davis
(314) 935-4777