The Trauma-Informed NYC Demonstration Project

Brooklyn Bridge


  • Trauma-Informed NYC is a geographically specific, capacity building program of FPWA, initiated from the recommendations of the Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline report. The purpose of the program is to work with human services organizations to determine best practices and challenges for supporting individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system. Through this program, FPWA will evaluate the impact of using a trauma-informed lens when working with and within communities with justice involvement.
  • Trauma-Informed NYC occurs in three phases. The first phase includes establishing framework and grounding; the second phase includes training and development; and the third phase includes consulting and intervention.


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  • To positively impact the lives of justice-involved individuals and families by improving outcomes through trauma-informed care.
  • To increase the skills and understanding within human services organizations to provide effective trauma-informed services to their clients.
  • To create a trauma-informed community of care among nonprofit organizations serving individuals and families impacted by the justice system.
  • To bring about systemic change at the City level to provide trauma-informed services to individuals and families impacted by the justice system.


  • Black and Latinx New Yorkers make up 52% of the city’s population but account for about 90% of all jail admissions.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

  • 26.8% of Black men and 16.2% of Latinx men, in contrast to only 3% of white men, in New York have been jailed by age 38.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

  • Results for women also show high levels of racial disparity. About 5% of Black women in New York have been jailed compared to 2% of Latinx women and fewer than 1% of White women.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America



The Trauma-Informed NYC demonstration project grew out of FPWA’s landmark 2019 report, “Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline,” which examined the intersection of poverty, race, and the justice system. We proved beyond any doubt that if you have a low income and are a person of color in New York City, you are at increased risk of being drawn into the criminal justice system.

Our investigative research has made a lasting impact on New York City. In March, the City Council passed a reform plan seeking to eradicate racialized policing and the criminalization of poverty. The city’s plan to decriminalize poverty is built directly from our recommendations in the “Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline” report.  They include viewing policing reforms through a budget justice lens, reallocating resources, and investing in a comprehensive human services system that can better address the needs of low-income communities. These recommendations have the potential to profoundly impact human services organizations and the lives of those who live in the communities that we all support.

The Ending The Poverty to Prison Pipeline report was made possible by the Ford Foundation