Survivors of violent crime, especially those who live in high crime areas often do not have adequate access to trauma-informed mental health and other support services to help them heal.

Crime survivors prefer criminal justice approaches that prioritize rehabilitation over punishment and strongly prefer investments in crime prevention and treatment to more spending on prisons and jails.

New safety priorities

That’s why CAPPS has convened a working group of experts and key stakeholders to begin developing legislation to implement trauma recovery centers (TRCs) in the state of Michigan based on California’s model TRC.

California has nine trauma recovery centers. The centers help underserved crime survivors and family members of homicide victims obtain trauma-informed mental health services that include a team of counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. TRCs also help survivors meet needs such as housing and employment by coordinating care with other agencies.

Alliance for Safety and Justice report on crime survivor needs

A recent national survey of crime survivors by the Alliance for Safety and Justice found that two out of three crime victims did not receive help after the incident and of those who did receive help, support came from families and friends. Moreover, those who seek help often face a number of hurdles accessing care including lack of information about crime victim restitution funds and limited access to comprehensive care.

Aswad Thomas, an ASJ organizer who recently visited Detroit was quoted in a New Yorker article “Black Wounds Matter” discussing the large number of crime survivors in communities of color, the lack of resources for these survivors, and the need to elevate survivor’s voices to guide policies to help rehabilitate and heal their communities.

Trauma Recovery Centers are an important evidence-based tool to help fill the gap in resources. California Trauma Recovery Center outcomes:

Improved crime survivor outcomes under the California model (University of California/San Francisco General Hospital

  • Increased return to employment by 56%
  • Increased participation with law enforcement by 69%
  • Increased health and wellness:
    • 74% of TRC participants show an improvement in mental health
    • 51% demonstrate an improvement in physical health.

Participant self-ratings of functioning at the end of treatment:

  • 93% said treatment helped them feel better emotionally
  • 83% said treatment helped them cope better with medical problems
  • 88% had improvements in day-to-day functioning
  • 90% had improvements in relationships with family & friends
  • 87% had improvements in dealing with alcohol & drug problems