What are ACEs?
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events that have a broad and profound impact on an individual’s development and subsequent emotional, cognitive, social and biological functioning. ACEs include:
- Economic adversity
- Substance abuse or mental illness of a caregiver
- Parental incarceration
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- Racial/ethnic discrimination
- Witnessing violence
- Living in unsafe neighborhoods
Conditions Affecting Youth Before Incarceration
- 13.6% Suicide attempt by child
- 28.6% Suffer from PTSD
- 36.4% Prior determination of Special Education Eligibility
- 47.7% Struggled with depression
- 74.1% Report to Child Protective Services
- 96.4% Youth diagnosed with Substance Abuse Disorder
- 99.5% Major psychiatric diagnosis; schizophrenia, depression
*Average of 9.8 CYFD referrals before incarceration
75% of boys and 87% of the girls in detention reported exposure to 5 or more ACEs
How to Mitigate ACEs? ADOBE
Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a key crime reduction strategy because 85% of adult defendants have four or more ACEs. The ADOBE program, affiliated with UNM Health Sciences, provides wraparound services for incarcerated juveniles and their families. Our Office has been part of the pilot referral program connecting the UNM primary care clinic for Domestic Violence victims with educational, medical, and other crucial resources.
Through early identification, referrals, and interventions ADOBE leverages the role of our Office in the criminal justice system to address the needs of the families of defendants and reduce the traumatizing impact of parental incarceration, a documented ACE.
This innovative approach reduces costs and improves safety by addressing the underlying issues directly and serves 86 kids and nearly 130 families through services and support that include home visits from navigators, medical and behavioral health assessments as well as ongoing treatment as necessary, the building of job skills, and the enrollment or re-enrollment primary clients in school as well as assisting youth in resolving problems at school who may have been on the verge of disenrollment.
Key results that indicate success include higher school enrollment and lower drop-out rates among this population; fewer CYFD referrals, fewer juvenile justice referrals, and fewer future adult criminal justice system encounters for this population; and improved physical and mental health outcomes for this population.
Unfortunately, the program is facing elimination due to a lack of funding. ADOBE needs $500,000 by June 30th to continue serving the community and we need your help to advocate to community leaders to fund this program to help keep our community safe.