Special Issue "Trauma, Addiction and Criminality"


A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Flora I. Matheson
Centre for Research on Inner City Health, The Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8, Canada
Website: http://www.sph.utoronto.ca/faculty_template_new.asp?GetFile=MFlora
E-Mail: mathesonf@smh.ca
Interests: gender inequities in health; neighborhood & individual stressors; mental mealth & addictions; women's health; correctional populations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Childhood trauma, through physical and/or sexual abuse and/or neglect, is pervasive in the general population. Actual prevalence rates vary depending on the scope of traumatic events examined. Estimates suggest that nearly 40 per cent of the general population (up to 60 per cent of women, and 20 to 30 per cent of men) have experienced some form of abuse or neglect in childhood. The consequences of trauma persist long after the experience is over and produce lifelong problems like depression, PTSD, substance abuse, low occupational attainment, poor medical health, and criminal involvement.

Prevalence and severity of lifetime interpersonal violence encountered by imprisoned men and women is scarce, contradictory and subject to under-reporting. However, evidence points to extensive trauma in this marginalized population with rates approaching 80% in some samples. Prevalence of PTSD has been estimated approximately at 48% within the female and 30% within male inmate populations. This Special Issue, “Trauma, Addiction and Criminality,” examines the role of trauma in the life trajectories of male and female offenders. The goal of the Issue is to shed light on the pervasiveness of the problem in the criminal justice system; explore the personal, social and health consequences of trauma for offenders; and, ponder what treatments might prove effective in this particularly vulnerable population.

Dr. Flora I. Matheson
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • prisoners
  • offenders
  • crime
  • criminality
  • incarceration
  • risk behaviours
  • violence
  • trauma exposure
  • intimate partner violence
  • child abuse
  • substance use
  • mental illness
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • gender

Published Papers (6 papers)

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 97-99; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010097
Received: 20 December 2011; Accepted: 22 December 2011 / Published: 3 January 2012
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by  and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(5), 1908-1926; doi:10.3390/ijerph9051908
Received: 27 March 2012; in revised form: 28 April 2012 / Accepted: 2 May 2012 / Published: 18 May 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by , , ,  and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(8), 3753-3770; doi:10.3390/ijerph10083753
Received: 5 July 2013; in revised form: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 3818-3833; doi:10.3390/ijerph10093818
Received: 1 July 2013; in revised form: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 22 August 2013
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by ,  and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5333-5348; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115333
Received: 30 August 2013; in revised form: 2 October 2013 / Accepted: 10 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
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by , , , , ,  and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5470-5489; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115470
Received: 29 July 2013; in revised form: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 1 October 2013 / Published: 28 October 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Does Violence Beget Violence
Author: Samuel Myers
Affiliation: Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA; E-Mail: myers006@umn.edu
Abstract: This paper explores whether childhood experience with a specific form of abuse contributes to juvenile violence using data on youth from the 1970s and 1980s, a period when there appeared to be a heightening connection between youth violence and early childhood experiences  Particular attention is given to the nuances of the relationship between child abuse and juvenile violence, including attitudes toward violence and issues of race.  Using data from the National Youth Survey, the paper  isolates the determinants of juvenile violence by separately examining  vintages of youth to account for possible censoring in the survey data.  The results do not show a uniform pattern of childhood abuse leading to juvenile violence. In some instances, for some age groups, and at some pathways to adulthood, the findings offer limited support for the generalization that child abuse leads to juvenile violence. Although there are not substantial differences in childhood abuse by race, there are large racial differences in attitudes toward violence, with blacks much more likely to tolerate it. The findings indicate that these attitudes are independent of child abuse and are strong predictors of juvenile violence.  While there is little support for the widely held belief that children who are victims of beatings by their parents are more likely to be perpetrators of juvenile violence, the results do indicate that attitudes toward violence have a strong influence on whether a juvenile perpetrates violence and should therefore be taken seriously by policy makers.

Type of Paper: Research Article
Title: Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Juvenile Detention: Implementing an Identification and Diversion Process
Author: Emily J. Salisbury, Jonathan D. Dabney and Kelli Russell
Affiliation: Division of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Portland State University, PO Box 751-JUST, Portland, OR 97207, USA; E-Mail: salisbury@pdx.edu
Abstract: Identifying victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the juvenile justice system is a challenging complexity requiring concerted organizational commitment. Using a three-tiered, trauma-informed screening process, a three-month pilot intervention was implemented in Clark County Juvenile Court (Washington) to identify victims in an effort to connect them to community youth advocates and sexual assault resources. A total of 535 boys and girls ages 9-19 were screened during intake; 47 of these youth reported risk factors associated with CSEC victimization and were subsequently referred to community advocates. Six youth (all girls) were confirmed CSEC victims and were successfully diverted from juvenile detention. Study results suggest that despite the lack of reliable data surrounding the prevalence of CSEC, juvenile justice agencies need to become educated on the risk factors to triage victims to services.

Last update: 26 March 2013

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