A Trauma-Informed
New York City


The Trauma-Informed Care Demonstration Project is a fifteen-month program initiated from the recommendations of FPWA’s Poverty to Prison Pipeline Report. The purpose of the program is to work with human service agencies to determine best practices and challenges for supporting individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system. Through this program, FPWA will evaluate (using data collection, skill development, and intervention implementation) the impact of using a trauma-informed lens when working with and within communities with justice involvement.


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  • To improve the lives of justice-involved individuals and families by improving service 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 this population.


  • Participating organizations will develop and implement models for delivering trauma-informed services to their clients who are justice involved.
  • The justice-involved individuals and families receiving trauma-informed services will show improvement in benchmark indicators related to Mental Health, Workforce Development, or Educational Persistence.
  • Begin to create the foundation for an integrated model of care to justice-involved individuals and families in the neighborhoods where our participating organizations are located.
  • Using the data from the program, we will start to develop system recommendations for a citywide system of delivering trauma-informed services to the criminally justice involved.


  • Black and Latinx New Yorkers make up 52% of the city’s population but account for about 90% of all jail admissions
  • 8% of Black men and 16.2% of Latino men, in contrast to only 3% of white men, in New York have been jailed by age 38.
  • 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 Latino women and fewer than 1% of White women.


The Trauma-Informed Care 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 Poverty to Prison Pipeline report was made possible by the Ford Foundation