Are you looking for effective strategies to eliminate trauma affecting incarcerated male youth? Here are some approaches you should try.

How to Eliminate Trauma-Affecting Incarcerated Male Youth
Trauma can change an individual’s perspective in life and alienate them from others - Photo: Arifur Rahman Tushar (Pixabay)


With the many cases of crime among young boys and the youth in society, rates of incarceration keep increasing at an alarming rate. Kenya has so far recorded thousands of criminal activities perpetrated by the young generation. As a result, such offenders are incarcerated and confined in juvenile prisons or corrective institutions.

The main concern is that the environment under which young offenders are confined subjects them to mental disturbances. The distance from their normal social life makes them develop some mental conditions including trauma. Worst of all, ex-convicts may change their mental state even after incarceration, hence the need for timely and strategic intervention.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is essentially a mental condition that emerges from unpleasant occurrences. Individuals may feel emotionally hurt or offended following the occurrence of adverse events. Trauma may be identified through different indicators such as anxiety, fear, shock, and sadness, especially when in a situation that reminds you of a bad past experience.

Aggravated cases of trauma can be life-threatening and can also change an individual’s life to the worst. For example, a young boy who was previously incarcerated, tortured, and mistreated may develop a whole different perception of life.

The negative impact on the brain may not only lead to unhealthy behaviors but also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An intervention strategy is needed to ensure that incarcerated boys recover mentally and that they view the world normally.

Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.

― Peter A. Levine

How to eliminate trauma-affecting incarcerated male youth

effective strategies to eliminate trauma
Trauma affects the way male youth relate to each other and the community around them - Photo: Lifesong Kenya

The first and most important step is to identify symptoms of trauma before resorting to the control, corrective, and mitigation approach. Boys, unlike girls, may prove hard to study in terms of identifying traumatizing behaviors. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly understand what trauma in young men entails and the specific areas you should focus on. Experts recommend effective approaches to handling and eliminating trauma.

Having positively identified symptoms of trauma on your young son, here are ways to effectively address the situation:

1. Establish Emotional Bond

Establishing an emotional bond with a traumatized individual is the most critical stage toward recovery. Unfortunately, most previously incarcerated individuals have serious trust issues, which limits their ability to emotionally bond with anyone.

The bonding process may take some time, especially if the victim is not familiar with you. You might have to exercise utmost patience when dealing with victims of trauma. The idea here is to ensure that a step is made each time toward winning the victim’s trust and establishing an emotional bond.

2.    Walk in Their Shoes

While this may seem tricky to most people, it is a necessary approach to letting the victims of trauma know that they are not alone. It is even better to let them know that you understand what they are going through even if not entirely.

A sense of compassion and support is a major milestone that assists victims of trauma through the recovery process. Let them know that you are always there in case they want someone to open up to.

3.    Practice Impartiality

The worst experience among victims of trauma is unfair judgment from people they trusted. Indeed, young men who were once incarcerated may have found themselves in such situations due to crime and other offenses.

However, this does not mean that you should harshly judge their conduct. Doing so only instills negative energy on the victims which is detrimental to their healing process. It is important to practice impartiality in this case, by engaging in talks that do not trigger negative emotional responses.

4. Restorative Justice

Making peace with the past is one of the strategic ways of addressing trauma among incarcerated male youth. In this case, the victim is granted the opportunity to face the situation and the reality.

Also, the victim is granted an audience with the offended parties as a way of taking responsibility for their bad behaviors.

Similar Post: The Need for Restorative Justice: Why the Approach Is Effective

Notably, restorative justice opens up a chance for the victim to apologize, acquaint with the offended parties, and resolve to make life changes away from crime. In doing so, the victim of trauma builds inner peace which is paramount in the healing process.

A friendly environment that supports mutual and fair coexistence between the incarcerated youth and the offended parties is crucial in this case.

5.    Physical Activities

Scientifically, physical activities are therapeutic and can assist in relaxing the mind. Considering that incarceration involves long periods of confinement and isolation, it is important to create an open environment for the victims of trauma as a way of initiating change.

In doing so, it is also important to ensure that social activities are capitalized upon, whereby victims are granted the chance to make new friends while making merry. Occasional physical activities like sports, team building, and dancing are ideal elements that can facilitate affirmative responses toward eliminating trauma. 

The Bottom Line

eliminating trauma in boys
Lifesong Kenya believes in the transformation and restoration of the boy-child - Photo: Lifesong Kenya

The manner in which you handle trauma victims as a result of incarceration is the main determinant of the results to expect.

Professionalism in handling incarcerated male youth struggling with trauma is imperative. The best thing is that trauma can be mitigated and completely eliminated as long as the right approaches are adopted.

The foundational idea is to ensure that a conducive healing environment is created. After all, trauma is a result of adverse occurrences that affect the brain, hence changing the surrounding is key.

Reach Out to Lifesong Kenya for Professional Assistance with Trauma

Lifesong Kenya is a foundation that specifically deals with the plight of young boys and youth. Incarceration is identified as a major concern facing our young boys today.

It is in this regard that we established a professional team to assist in handling victims of trauma and ensuring that they recover fully. We do this by first, believing in the transformation and restoration of the boy-child.

Secondly, we believe in making a difference in society by mitigating and discouraging negative vices such as crime. Thirdly, we also believe in granting every male child an equal opportunity to grow and prosper.

Lastly, we are committed to positively impacting the lives of traumatic male youth for a better future.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top