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Review 2 of "Using a trauma-informed practice framework to examine how South Australian judges respond to trauma in the lives of Aboriginal defendants"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onAug 30, 2021
Review 2 of "Using a trauma-informed practice framework to examine how South Australian judges respond to trauma in the lives of Aboriginal defendants"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

The suggestions below are very minor but I think they would strengthen the article. I believe a discussion around the 6th principle of trauma-informed care (cultural, historical, and gender issues) may support and strengthen this study even more. I also think it is important to acknowledge the limitation of using judges to identify Aboriginal defendants. I actually think relying on this is a strength of the study (because it speaks to the judicial connection between cultural factors in trauma-informed care and crimes or disposition decisions) but should be discussed a little further (see below). 

[Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit.]

I must say I am very impressed by this article! I find the coding schemes to be fantastic and a great way to assess trauma-informed care practices.

A few additional citations are needed in the introduction (e.g., citation for the effects of unresolved trauma).

This isn’t necessary as the author addresses historical, cultural, and gender issues in their discussion of empowerment (Trauma-informed Principles in the literature review), but SAMHSA has identified historical, cultural, and gender issues as a 6th principle of trauma-informed care. The inclusion of this 6th principle would fit nicely with the cultural and historical factors to be considered by Aboriginal individuals involved in the legal system. I believe it would strengthen the rationale behind incorporating trauma-informed care both in the introduction and discussion. I think it would be especially important to bring this principle into the discussion because none of the judges addressed it in their remarks, but it is clearly important to recognize among this sample.

The discussion around the lack of judges identifying defendants as Aboriginal could be strengthened. Is it possible to add in a few sentences regarding the limitations of judges descriptions (and perhaps how bias might filter in here?) or expand on the comparison between the judges descriptions, the author’s own research experience, and official court statistics?

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