Violence & Justice

Confronting Child Sex Trafficking on the Central Coast

Five years ago, when Lisa Conn became a mental health provider for juvenile justice in Santa Barbara County, she noticed a disturbing trend: A large number of the incarcerated girls were displaying symptoms of complex trauma and, in particular, sex trauma.

Most Survivors Want More Rehab, Less Punishment for Victimizers

Aswad Thomas made a quick stop at a convenience store to buy a bottle of pink lemonade on a hot summer night in 2009. He had recently graduated from college—the first in his family to attend a university—and he’d been recruited to play professional basketball overseas. He was leaving the market when two men approached him in the parking lot. One pointed a gun at Thomas; the other pointed two at him. They shot him twice in the back.

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