Adverse Childhood Experiences
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. UNM Medical & Law Schools and New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Family Department conducted a study in 2016 focused on the juvenile justice system and found a dire need for prevention and rehabilitation [Cannon, Yael, George Davis, Andrew Hsi, and Alexandra Bochte. “Adverse Childhood Experiences in the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Population.” New Mexico Sentencing Commission. (February 2016)].
Investing in our children through early interventions that prevent contact with the criminal justice system is the surest path to our community’s health, prosperity, and safety.
As part of our early intervention efforts, District Attorney Raúl Torrez serves as the co-chair of United Way of Central New Mexico’s Mission: Families Vision Council, whose goal is to minimize ACEs in New Mexico by 50% by 2030. The organization’s number one priority is to stabilize and support New Mexican families by helping them secure housing and increase educational opportunity. Together with community partners and volunteers, Mission: Families is analyzing needed systemic change, supporting advocacy efforts, and developing collaborative projects to improve the well-being and safety of children in Bernalillo County.