Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance

Laura J. Elwyna, Nina Esaki & Carolyn A. Smith*


Abstract: Juvenile justice facilities have historically struggled with creating and maintaining safe, therapeutic environments. The need to maintain order has often led to practices that diminish and traumatize residents rather than enable healing and development. Efforts to create change in institutional settings face a range of implementation challenges and constraints that include lack of leadership, follow through, and entrenched staff practices and attitudes (Aarons, 2006). Using descriptive information gathered at a secure juvenile justice facility for girls in Pennsylvania that implemented a trauma–informed organizational change model, the Sanctuary Model®, this study seeks to understand what changed in the facility during and immediately after the implementation of the model. We also seek to understand what factors, other than the model itself, were perceived as critical to model implementation and positive change.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates and Staff