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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries - Breaking the Cycle of Generational Crime


We all know hurt people hurt others, and that there's a child inside all of us, healthy and whole or deeply wounded, wanting to belong and just be seen. 


Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is honored to be a part of breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma, of violence, and of reactive responses in our carceral system while restoring broken lives. 


Words like ACEs, toxic stress, resilience, the impact of restorative justice practices and trauma-informed care, can seem overwhelming when we're not quite certain where and how all of it applies. 


Grab a latte, relax, and sit with us awhile.  We pray you'll be blessed with not just answers to your questions, but your own path to healing will begin!



Blameless and Forever Free Ministries understands hurting children grow into hurting adults. 

Many of the individuals in prison today have wounded hearts due to traumatic childhood experiences and violence. 

These experiences have created a deep wound, a brokenness. This defective behavioral trait is in need of repair that identification and alternative solutions provide through restorative justice practices. 


If left untreated, they will continue to react instead of respond due to their trauma rather than seek healing and wholeness.


"ACEs" stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences.  ACEs are a hidden crisis impacting the health and well-being of children, families and our communities. 

ACEs are defined as emotionally traumatic events that have a profound impact on a child’s developing brain with lasting impacts on their health and livelihood throughout their lifetime.  These ACEs occur any time before a child turns 18.

ACEs are categorized into three groups on the ACE Pyramid:  abuse, neglect, and household challenges.  They cause toxic stress and can lead to significant health, behavioral, and societal issues. 


This helps us better understand how abuse, neglect and household dysfunction during childhood affects adult health outcomes and behaviors.  Now we have the science of ACEs to explain its reach.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a tremendous impact on future violence, victimization and perpetration, with lifelong health and opportunity. Working together, we can help create neighborhoods, communities, and a world in which every person can survive and thrive.​

Blameless ACEs Diagram


We understand that hurting children grow into hurting adults.  Many of our beloveds incarcerated have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences, better known as (ACEs).

Let's shift the conversation beyond understanding and start applying it into our own everyday lives as we embrace community and transform our prisons into healing centers. 

Did you know, 1 in every 4 children lives in a family with parental alcoholism?

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Hu


Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behavior. 


It understands the many layers of how individuals may be affected by and cope with trauma and violence.

Trauma-informed prisons requires addressing organizational policies and practices that may re-traumatize or trigger traumatic memories. Failing to address these retraumatizing practices poses a threat to both the individual and the stability of the setting.

Understanding that adversity affects all of us, our resilience can be affected when we have frequent or long exposure to toxic stress from ACEs, especially when we don't have protective factors to act as our "adversity buffer."


An ACE score is a calculation of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks delivered from a rough childhood.

According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study created by Kaiser Permanente doctors in the late 1990s, the rougher and unstable your childhood, the higher your risk is for health problems later in life.

You can take the easy and short test below to better understand your childhood traumas and experiences and how they could be impacting your own health.




ACE scores, unfortunately, do not calculate the positive experiences in early life that helps build resilience and protects the child's brain from the effects of trauma.


Psychologists say, "There are people with high ACE scores who do remarkably well," says Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician and director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.


Resilience builds throughout life, and "close relationships" are key.

Recent research also suggests that for the adult population, "trauma informed" therapy — which can center on art, yoga or mindfulness training — can help..


There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study.  Five are personal: physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect.  Five are related to other family members: a parent who's an alcoholic, a mother who's a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who's been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.



But there are many other types of childhood trauma — racism, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, etc.  The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature. 

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

OUTCOMES OF 4 ACEs or Higher

  • 2 times more likely to smoke

  • 2.3 times more likely to have cancer

  • 3 times more likely to have chronic lower respiratory disease

  • 7 times more like to misuse alcohol

  • 10 times more likely to inject illicit drugs

  • 11.2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's Disease

  • 12 times more likely to attempt suicide

  • 20 times more likely to have been incarcerated at some point in their lives

  • 30.1 times more likely to die by suicide

  • 32 times more likely to experience learning and behavioral problems

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