Open Ninth

Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.

Trauma-Informed Courts

Open Ninth Episode 178

When it comes to trauma, we don’t always understand quite how it will affect us. Trauma from years prior can resurface from seemingly unrelated events and trauma-induced reactions occur as a result. And being involved in the court system can be a traumatic experience for many—more so for those already experiencing trauma. This is why we need trauma-informed courts that consider the experiences of those within them and acknowledge the role trauma may play in an individual’s life.

In this episode of Open Ninth, our guest host, Judge Alice Blackwell, sat down with Judge Alicia Latimore, the Administrative Judge for our Problem-Solving Court, and Dr. Kimberly Renk, a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, to discuss the effects of trauma and the importance of trauma-informed courts in our judicial system. Tune in to to learn more.

Time Stamps

  • 00:16 – Introduction to Dr. Renk and trauma studies
  • 07:56 – How trauma and the courts intersect
  • 17:08 – Adverse childhood experiences
  • 22:32 – How courts can be trauma-informed
  • 29:06 – Importance of being trauma-informed
  • 37:05 – Secondary/vicarious trauma
  • 42:51 – Final thoughts


  • Trauma: an emotional response to an event that makes an individual feel unsafe or experience great fear.
  • Trauma-Informed: a framework that is grounded in the understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma.
  • Trauma-Responsive: a framework that recognizes trauma responses and adapts to the needs of people who have suffered trauma.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Traumatic experiences that happen in an individual’s life between the ages of 1 and 17.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences Test: a test that measures traumatic experiences and examines the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and adult health and social outcomes.
  • Functional Living: a means of living where an individual is able to actively live in alignment with the needs of their body and mental health.
  • Parallel Process: an approach where an individual models the appropriate behavior and response so that those behaviors and responses can be adopted by another.
  • Recidivism: the tendency of an individual to relapse into criminal behavior.
Open Ninth
Episode 178

Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.

Run time 50:36



In this episode

Circuit Judge Alice Blackwell
Alice L. Blackwell

Circuit Court Judge

Judge Blackwell has served as a Circuit Judge since 1991. She retires in June of 2023 after 32 years of service on the bench.

Alicia L. Latimore
Alicia L. Latimore

Circuit Court Judge

Judge Latimore has served as a Circuit Court Judge since 2006. She currently serves as the Administrative Judge for Problem Solving Court.

Dr. Kimberly Renk
Dr. Kimberly Renk

Dr. Kimberly Renk is a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, who has dedicated her time to studying trauma.