Trauma and Justice

image of gavel

Reducing the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems and addressing the behavioral health needs of people involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA's Roles and Actions 2011 – 2014 (PDF 778KB)

Read about SAMHSA's Working Definition of Trauma and Principles and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.


  • Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse: coordinates tribal substance abuse programs across the federal government as required by the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) of 2010.
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network exit disclaimer icon - dedicated to improving access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.
  • National Center on Substance Abuse & Child Welfare - dedicated to improving systems and practice for families with substance abuse disorders who are involved in child welfare and family judicial systems by assisting local, state and tribal agencies.
  • National Center for Trauma Informed Care - dedicated to building awareness of trauma-informed care and promoting the implementation of trauma-informed practices in programs and services.
  • GAINS Center – promoting effective mental health and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders in contact with the justice system.
  • Safe Schools/Healthy Students – a grant-making program designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation's youth, schools, and communities.
  • Alternatives to Seclusion & Restraint – our efforts to reduce and eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint practices for all age groups in institutional and community-based behavioral health care settings.
  • Disaster Response - practical advice and resources on how to deal with the effects disasters can have on your physical and mental health.
  • Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) - provide resources to prepare States, territories, and local entities to deliver an effective mental health and substance abuse response during disasters.

Last updated: 12/10/2012