Trauma-oriented recovery framework with offenders: A necessary missing link in offenders' rehabilitation

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Research has shown that incarcerated individuals experience significantly higher rates of trauma prior to and during incarceration, compared with the general population. However, despite the rich evidence regarding traumatic backgrounds, and evidence of a link between trauma and (re)offending, trauma-informed practice among inmates, particularly among men, is still limited. The paucity of trauma-informed services among inmates may be due to the deeply polarized victimization and criminal paradigms, that ignore the empirical overlap between victims and offenders. Given this limitation, the aim of this article is to outline a Trauma-Orientated Recovery Framework (TORF) for offenders, by synergizing positive victimology with a positive criminology perspective. These holistic perspectives highlight the value of promoting personal, interpersonal, and spiritual integration. Accordingly, this practice framework outlines guidelines for formal and informal interventions, to achieve recovery and rehabilitation by promoting positive experiences such as self-compassion, family involvement, forgiveness, service to others, social support, recovery-oriented carceral environments, and spiritual growth. By providing a comprehensive framework, these guidelines target symptoms of multilevel trauma, and encourage the incarcerated individual to living a life worth living, in a bid to help them connect with community, and foster their spiritual growth, thereby making great strides toward addressing recidivism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101678
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Correctional institutions
  • Positive criminology
  • Positive victimology
  • Recovery
  • Trauma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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