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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 22, 2019 03:41 PM
From: Representative Summer Lee
To: All House members
Subject: Dignity for Incarcerated Women: Trauma-Informed Care
In the last few years, Pennsylvania has seen an increase in incarcerated individuals suffering from trauma. This dramatic jump can be attributed to a number of mental, physical, and emotional events that incarcerated individuals, especially incarcerated women and girls, encounter in their lives, which can lead to emotional outbursts, night terrors, panic attacks, and anxiety, among other things. Often, individuals will show no initial signs of trauma for days, months, or even years after the actual traumatic event took place, and immediate support is necessary to prevent further traumatic experiences.

My legislation would create an environment in our correctional institutions that properly assists and rehabilitates incarcerated individuals who have experienced trauma. Individuals who have experienced trauma of any type need support and understanding from trained staff and should be given a chance to feel empowered and safe as they move towards rehabilitation and re-entry into society. Unfortunately, some trauma survivors can be re-traumatized by well-meaning correctional staff who may not be trauma-informed. By requiring all correctional institutions to provide trauma-informed care to incarcerated individuals and train staff on how to properly assist trauma survivors, we will be able to continue to reduce recidivism rates and prepare individuals for successful re-entry.

We must continue to encourage and propose new ideas that provide the resources necessary for rehabilitation and support for all individuals incarcerated within our state. I believe that it is our duty as legislators to make sure our incarcerated individuals are getting the support they need to successfully reintegrate into the community, so I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed legislation.

Introduced as HB1014