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At the beginning of December, I finished my 2019 HOPE workshops with a visit to the nearby Middlesex County Massachusetts District Attorney’s (DA) office. The room was packed with police, lawyers, outreach workers, social workers, and District Attorney Marian Ryan. Each of the people in the room spent their professional lives with individuals and families in distress, often in conflict and adversity. For an hour and a half, we discussed HOPE – Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences. The attendees own work experience reinforced the key elements of HOPE – Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences: individuals bring not only trauma histories, but their own individual and community strength with them at all times. Successful crime prevention, victim assistance, and even work with perpetrators all benefit from this approach. The DA’s staff volunteer as mentors (including Big Brothers) in their community, and the office runs a juvenile and young adult diversion program. Their Safe Babies, Safe Kids task force work together with birth hospitals and community-based organizations to protect babies and young children. The response from the DA’s office staff, and their specific plans to incorporate HOPE into their work, reinforces the universal application of this work.

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