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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 14: Childhood trauma task force

Section 14. The office shall convene a childhood trauma task force made up of members of the juvenile justice policy and data board established pursuant to section 89 of chapter 119 to study, report and make recommendations on gender responsive and trauma-informed approaches to treatment services for juveniles and youthful offenders in the juvenile justice system. Said task force shall review the current means of (i) identifying school-aged children who have experienced trauma, particularly undiagnosed trauma, and (ii) providing services to help children recover from the psychological damage caused by such exposure to violence, crime or maltreatment. The task force shall consider the feasibility of providing school-based trainings on early, trauma-focused interventions, trauma-informed screenings and assessments, and the recognition of reactions to victimization, as well as the necessity for diagnostic tools. A priority shall be placed on juvenile or youthful offender's pathways into the juvenile justice system with the goal of reducing the likelihood of recidivism by addressing the unique issues associated with juvenile or youthful offenders including emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, family violence, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental absence, and household member incarceration.

The childhood trauma task force shall annually report its findings and recommendations by December 31 to the governor, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on the judiciary, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security and the chief justice of the trial court.