'It's knowing the right things to say and do': challenges and opportunities for trauma‐informed practice in the prison context

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The relevance of trauma‐informed practice (TIP) across the workforce, especially in a trauma‐laden environment such as prison, has gained credence. Little is documented, however, on the practicalities of responding to trauma within custodial institutions where the potential for retraumatisation and the tension between care and control are complicating factors. This article explores the views of over 200 prison staff on the adoption of a trauma‐informed approach for young people in custody. It identifies a gap between vision and practice and, while acknowledging that prisons can become more ‘trauma‐aware’, disputes the notion that true TIP is possible within current custodial contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-534
Number of pages22
JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
Issue number4
Early online date17 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


  • prison
  • prison officers
  • trauma-informed practice
  • TIP
  • young offenders

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