The National Judicial College has been asked to help with research into the effects of trauma upon judges and methods to address it. Take this nine-question survey if you wish to participate. No identifying information will be collected.
The research is being conducted by Baltimore District Court judges Jamey Hueston and Miriam Hutchins, who have a combined 36 years on the bench and extensive experience as drug court judges.
Scant studies have been done on the effects of judicial trauma. The researchers theorize that compassionate approaches and other healing techniques are not only effective with litigants but diminish the effects of trauma upon effected judges and positively affect judicial health.
The researchers write:
The nature of judging requires us to regularly handle difficult and distressing cases which over time can wear upon and negatively affect our mental health. Large and ceaseless workloads, pressures to make “right decisions,” safety concerns, and burnout can also contribute to judicial fatigue and diminish our ability to negotiate exposure to traumatic matters. Judges face both primary and secondary trauma, but this population is not often recognized as suffering from its unseen and harmful effects. The insidious consequences of trauma take its toll on their health, families, and relationships and quality of life.