How childhood trauma affects brain development and risk for incarceration: Virtual event Aug. 25  


Adverse childhood experiences can be directly correlated to health and well-being challenges in adolescence and adulthood, including addiction and mental health effects, as reflected by one of the largest studies on childhood abuse and neglect conducted by CDC-Kaiser Permanente. These challenges may lead to an increased risk for incarceration.  

While 64 percent of the general U.S. population weathered at least one ACE, 97 percent of the U.S. prison population reports having one or more. How does childhood trauma impact brain development and behavior? How does this lead to increased risk for incarceration? How can we better integrate this understanding into our justice system and into diversion and prevention efforts? And how do we heal from ACEs individually and as a society? 

Join Joey Barnett, professor and vice chair of the department of pharmacology, as he explores these topics. Barnett has been volunteering with incarceration- and reentry-based programming since the 1980s. 

This Lab-to-Table Conversation from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences will be Aug. 25, 2–3 p.m. CT, and will feature panelists: 

  • Pierre Cabell – musician, lead facilitator for Healing Broken Circles and a formerly incarcerated individual 
  • Trina Frierson – president and CEO of Mending Hearts Inc., an organization working with women who are homeless due to addiction, most of whom are in the reentry community 
  • Richard Simerly – Louise B. McGavock Professor, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and expert in developmental neurobiology 
  • Mark Wallace – Louise B. McGavock Professor and professor of psychology studying the neural basis of multisensory processing 

The event is free, virtual and open to the public. Registration is required.