After the Webinar: How to Shift into a Trauma Informed Agency. Q&A with Tira Hubbard

Webinar presenter Tira Hubbard answered a number of your questions after her presentation, How to Shift into a Trauma-Informed Agency: The Changing Face of Probation. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: What is the name of that training again for departments to build resiliency is that the Pause First Academy that you ever did?

Tira Hubbard: It’s Highly recommend the book Mindfulness for Warriors, as well, it’s been a game changer for us, and looking at how this work impacts us and how we can take better care of ourselves and others.


Audience Question: We are definitely not a trauma-informed agency, more of a grin-and-bear-it type of agency. So, how do I approach my management to explore a transition to being trauma-informed? 

Tira Hubbard: So, I might suggest learning a little bit more yourself first, because I was a PO when we started rolling out. This did not necessarily come from like the administrative level. Like, it started with the work we were doing with justice-involved women. And as I was learning more about working with women, I was like, hey, wait, this applies to men, too. And I started reading and getting passionate and talking to other peers. So, we built some enthusiasm from that line staff perspective. Website, I’ve got kind of their logo up there, Trauma Informed Oregon. Although that’s my state, it’s not like if you’re in another saying, you can’t access it. It’s a website, Trauma Informed Oregon, it’s an amazing resource. There’s like a trauma-informed checklist, where you can kind of like look and see. So, if your management is somebody that, like, we want tangible, what are the numbers? You can actually go through your agency and do a checklist to see kind of how you score in your trauma-informed. And it also has tons of resources on what to do and how to access it. The National Institute of Corrections is another great resource, go to their website. And just start typing in trauma, but I’d say build a little bit of your own interest first. Get some tangible things. Put together a proposal, and find at least one other person in your agency that shares that, because oftentimes, honestly, it doesn’t start with the administration. It starts with a passion at line staff. Like we can do better. And I think it’s more effective when it has when it comes from that part of the hourglass than the top right though? I think, dig into it. Reach out to, like I can get you in touch with other people.


Audience Question: Do you use the Ohio risk assessment system for a risk needs assessment? 

Tira Hubbard: We do not use, I think, that acronym is —— risk assessment. We use in Oregon we use the LSCMI. Very similar, when we start looking at criminogenic domains, they tend to be very similar, regardless of which risk assessment tends to be kind of like, we talk about the big four, the big three. The overall thing, we did break away from the LSCMI for our women and we use the Women’s risk Need Assessment for women and then the LSCMI for men. For individuals that are gender diverse or non-binary, we give them the option of which one fits their needs better though, LSCMI or the ——


Audience Question: What role do managers and supervisors have in monitoring their folks for trauma fatigue, and how do we even do this? 

Tira Hubbard: Oh my gosh, that’s such a great question, and I just, I have to be really, really vulnerable and authentic and that’s what I’m saying like that’s where —– we must stop. We got the card for the worse and sometimes good initiatives that happen. So, one of the things that we’re doing is the CR2 training, the creating regulation, and resilience. We made a two-year commitment to rolling out the CR2 because part of it is not just how we respond to justice-involved individuals, which is where we started, right? Part of the CR2 is about recognizing our own resilience and taking a moment to be able to breathe, to be able to get ourselves squared away, to be able to take care of ourselves, and regulate ourselves before interacting with individuals. When we rolled that out, we rolled it out to our managers first because we didn’t want to ask staff to do anything that we weren’t willing to do. When you’re line staff, it’s hard to tell your admin, like, you need to do this first. But when your admin, if you are an admin on here, I’d say, try to put your management staff through things first. I think at the very least, that can create more buy-in because we’re willing to jump through the same hoops and then listen to your staff. Feedback is one of the hardest things when people are burnt out there, they’re crusty, they’re cranky. and they’re more negative. And when more people get burnt out, more negative people tend to kind of like find each other. That’s really hard feedback as a manager, right? Like, because they’re unhappy, and that’s because this job takes its toll on people – organizational stressors, vicarious trauma. But you have to listen to the feedback, even a really negative feedback, and so on it might be about you. And some of it might be about how you roll things out. And you care more about the justice-involved individuals, or about your staff. And that’s never the intention, but as a manager listening, taking that hard feedback, and then doing what you can to fix things on the backend.


Audience Question: A couple of questions about personal trauma here, first one is, and they’re very similar, but the first one is from Desmond, how do you work with clients that have experienced trauma when you’ve experienced a lot of personal trauma yourself?

Tira Hubbard: That’s a hard one. And, I think, especially for women in this work, we also are at a higher rate of having experienced trauma, just statistically, we are. And so, it’s important that you’re able to regulate yourself and maintain your own regulation. So, I would say, taking advantage of things like employee assistance programs, and doing some of your own trauma work. Mainly, it’s good coping strategies and good grounding techniques, because if you start getting triggered, then your body and brain are going to disconnect. So, being able to learn the same grounding skills you are going to teach to clients to make sure that you’re able to use those yourself. So, to be able to use your own five senses, to be able to do your own square breathing or box breathing, getting making sure that your body stays oxygenated enough. Because sometimes you don’t have a choice of who you’re working with, and sometimes you don’t have a choice in which caseload you get. And so, it’s really important that you be able to do self-care, and then you have people you can talk to about that. But if you become just regulated as your clients just regulated, neither one of you are going to benefit from that. So, the same things that help them will help you. And so, looking into regulation technique, do a search for grounding techniques, or grounding skills, or coping skills, things from different yoga moves to different breathing styles to just keep the body and brain connected.


Audience Question: How would you address an event where the officer has the same trauma as the person that they’re supervising? 

Tira Hubbard: For an officer who’s experienced childhood sexual abuse, supervising a sex offender, it’s probably going to be constantly triggering for them, that might also be something they want to do to work through their trauma and can be challenging. Making sure that the supervisor you’re able to, I mean, if you’re comfortable talking with a supervisor about that, sometimes you’re not always, sometimes it’s talking to a friend or family member, or a therapist an outside resource. I’d say, if you’re getting triggered by it, like, something to do, some extra work around, because if you’re getting damaged every day at work, you’re going to have to do more to try to offset that. Because it’s that resilience capital, trying to have that resilience capital built. So, the things you need to do to build your own resilience so that you can have that exposure to those ongoing traumatic experiences. It’s hard work.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of How to Shift into a Trauma-Informed Agency: The Changing Face of Probation. 


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