Healing Trauma at Lockhart Prison 


"Trauma not transformed is trauma transferred."

— Ashley Judd

What: Healing Trauma program
Where: MTC Lockhart Correctional Facility for Women, Lockhart, Texas
Launch period: July 2017 to June 2018
Desired outcome: During the launch period, we aim to graduate more than 100 women and train volunteer facilitators so that Healing Trauma classes can continue operating beyond June 2018.  
Program director: Katie Ford
Program operating under: American Youthworks
Fundraising goal: $44,716 — FULLY FUNDED

About Healing Trauma at Lockhart

With the warden’s support, Katie Ford has implemented an evidence-based intervention program called Healing Trauma, written by Dr. Stephanie Covington, at MTC Lockhart Correctional Facility for Women. Proven to reduce symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among women in correctional settings, this course uses cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive arts, body-focused exercises, mindfulness and relational therapy to help women understand the biological impact of trauma — how it affects the mind (thoughts and behaviors) and the body (physical ailments and disease) if left unaddressed.

Participants are given hope by learning there are ways to disrupt the neural pathways carved by past traumatic events. They learn self-soothing and self-regulating techniques to calm the central nervous system and build emotional resiliency. These skills empower women to respond to triggering moments in ways that are not harmful to themselves (addiction) or others (violent outbursts).

They also explore power and abuse in relationships, personal boundaries, and characteristics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships.

Why Is This Work Important?

Healing Trauma will be the FIRST and ONLY program of its kind at Lockhart Correctional, and there is need for it. Incarcerated women have experienced high rates of trauma: 87% have experienced interpersonal violence and 75% have histories of childhood sexual or physical abuse. (Wolff et al. 2011) Also, incarcerated women have experienced an average six traumatic events in her lifetime, whereas a typical woman in the community has experienced an average of two. (Grella, Lovinger and Warda, 2013) 

Many women fall prey to addiction and develop behaviors that are harmful to themselves and others in response to the unaddressed trauma in their lives. Seven in 10 incarcerated women are mothers, so the cycle of trauma,  abuse and addiction continues with their children if left unaddressed

A great way to support this healing work is to share this page with your friends and raise the visibility of this imprisoning cycle among incarcerated women. Together, let's break the cycle of trauma and abuse.

In deep gratitude,
Katie Ford


Raising awareness in our nation's capital

Women's March on Washington
January 2017